The highlight of the schedule includes the league’s new divisions thanks to the NHL’s realignment. Minnesota will play in the seven-team Central Division, along with Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Teams will play a total of 29 games against division foes — five games against five teams and four games against one team, in the Wild’s case. The Pacific Division in the Western Conference includes Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver. Both Eastern Conference divisions — the Metropolitan and Atlantic — are eight-team divisions.
The Wild will have five games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The first meeting between the two Central Division teams will be Oct. 26 in Chicago, followed by another game two days later in St. Paul.
Minnesota will get an early look at former Wild center Matt Cullen, who signed a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators this offseason. The Wild will play in Nashville for the third game of the season — and first road game — on Oct. 8. Other highlighted home games include Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 5 and the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins on April 8.
All teams will break in February for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Wild’s final game before the Olympic break will be Feb. 6 at home against Nashville. Minnesota will resume its schedule on Feb. 27 at Edmonton.
The Wild will have three four-game homestands during the year: Oct. 28-Nov. 5, Dec. 29-Jan. 4 and March 9-15. The season finale for Minnesota will be on April 13 against Nashville at the Xcel Energy Center.