The New Jersey Devils open up their regular season schedule at the Rock against the Dallas Stars on October 8. We're just about a month away from meaningful NHL hockey returning to the Garden State. It's so close, yet so far.
There's plenty to look forward to before then, though; much more than awaiting what Lou will do to get the Devils under the salary cap upper limit. For your convenience, here's a list of notable dates after the jump. Tomorrow, I'll tackle Brodeur's 35 soft goals last season in a little more detail. Updated on 9/8
Sept. 8 10 AM - Sept. 9 10 PM: Season Ticket Holder Exclusive Presale. If you're a season ticket holder, then you got a chance to buy extra single game tickets in advance of the public at season ticket holder prices. If you're a season ticket holder, then you got an email (or two?) from the Devils telling you this today, too.
Let me digress for a bit and note the email was a good thing. It means the Devils are not only putting the effort to let you know of this, but did it right before it begins to remind the STHs. I also say this because,well, I didn't remember it until I got the email.
Sept. 10: Single game tickets are available to purchase for the public. The Devils have offered both half-season and partial 12-game plans for weeks on the official website. But if you're only interested in a few games or if you're only going to be in New Jersey for a little bit, Friday's the day to buy tickets in advance.
Sept. 13: Per Mike Morreale, rookie physicals begin in Newark on Sept. 13; they will begin camp on the rinks on the next day. Thanks to user C.J.Richey121 in the comments for pointing this out.
Sept. 17: Veterans report for physicals in Newark, home of the Prudential Center and the AmeriHealth Pavillion (a.k.a. the practice rink). It is also the last day the NHL can penalize the Devils for their original contract for Ilya Kovalchuk to be rejected. If the league does not issue the penalty by 5 PM EDT, then there will be none. On the next day, veterans will begin on the ice.
On September 23, the Devils will visit the Rangers for their season . On September 25, the Devils will play their first home preseason game against the New York Rangers; and will play a second home game on September 28 against the Flyers. On October 1 and 2, the Devils and Islanders will have a home-and-home, starting at the Rock and finishing on the road. 6 games, all local teams, all just to see if anyone's ready for a NHL roster spot and to get some of the rust off of some of the veterans.
Sept. 25: Amidst the preseason, this would be the first date when teams can waive players per Article 13.2 of the CBA. If the Devils (or anyone else) wants to waive a player for whatever reason, this will be the first day to officially do so. Thanks to user FrankG929 in the comments.
October 6: This is the final day before the beginning of the NHL regular season, technically the end of Training Camp. Of course, the Devils will finish their preseason on October 2, so the following days are just to get the roster in order. This is the absolute deadline for all NHL teams to be between the upper and lower limits of the salary cap. I believe this is regulated in Article 50.5.(c).(ii).(B). In any case, Lou has to have the Devils under the cap by this date.
If there are any other important dates of note between now and October 8, please let me know in the comments and I'll add them in later. Thanks for reading.