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NHL Schedule 2022-23 released – Some suggested Icehopping Itineraries

Every year, some time in June or July, I am spending hours and hours looking into flight schedules, checking out travel distances by car and air and typically use a lot of bad words: This is the time when the NHL is releasing their schedule for the following season. Time for me to check out if I can make it to another trip following my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins like I did on my March 2022 or my February 2020 trip – and many time before. This is more or less how I spend most time of my last weekend. I finally created a schedule for me (way before there are any tickets on sale).

While my aim is typically to “optimize” the number of Penguins matches I am able to watch with a “limited” travel budget (which is still a couple of thousand Euros), I also looked for some interesting routes and series of matches. Thereby, I don’t want to do too many “Follow Your Team” optimizations – I am sure that you can do it on your own for your team easily. This posting is especially for Europeans, who would love to see a series of NHL matches and thereby see a lot of different teams and venues. Hope you like my ideas.

 

The 2022-23 NHL Season Schedule

The National Hockey League announced the schedule of the following season on 6th July 2022, right before the NHL Drafts. You can find the posting here. The link also includes a link to a .pdf file, which is listing the matches per team. This may be very handy if you follow a specific team – but I felt it is rather unhandy if you want to base travel planning on it. Thus, I transformed the data into a simple Excel file:

Please note that all times are ET and that I use European notation, i.e. home team first. I chose both majorly to ease my travel plannings. My Excel file may of course contain errors or miss any updates.

 

Some NHL Trips suggested for the 2022-23 Season

Okay, that’s why I at least feel it is quite an interesting posting for many for you. I am very thankful for any feedback – mistakes or even when you finally did one of my suggested ice hockey trips next season.

 

Conditions

As said, these trip suggestions are very biased from a European perspective. I tried to find trips which are economic for a European ice hockey fan. This especially means:

  • Avoid longer travel distances, which you can typically only do by expansive plane tickets, where possible.
  • Especially the Northeast region of the USA is very attractive for these kind of trips. Flights to New York City are typically significantly cheaper than to any other US destinations. For my 2022-23 trip, for example, I decided to drive from New York to Pittsburgh. I hate the trip, but it significantly saves money. Flights to West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas) are typically also rather bearable financially.
  • Some trips do not even need a rental car.
  • I try to avoid border crossings as much as possible. This especially affects potential trips including Vancouver and Seattle or Buffalo and Toronto. I do believe that there is a risk that during winter Covid-19 restrictions might be raised again, especially by the Canadian government. Thus, having multiple test requirements on the same trip might be bothering
  • I also did not especially focus on the NHL in Europe. You got the tickets anyway already, I guess.

 

The Trips

Hope you like my trip suggestions. I sorted them chronologically.

 

The Alberta Overkill

I sad that I do not promote one-team travels – but what’s going on in Alberta at the beginning of the season is just notable. Edmonton begins the season with six home matches in a row, Calgary is hosting nine of their first ten matches (traveling to the Alberta rival for the away match. I just put all the matches below and did not suggest any specific commute between the cities – the final duration of your trip and the weighing between being in Edmonton and in Calgary may be rather based on your personal preferences.

Date Home Away Time ET
12.10.2022 Edmonton  Vancouver 22:00
13.10.2022 Calgary  Colorado 21:30
15.10.2022 Edmonton  Calgary 22:00
18.10.2022 Edmonton  Buffalo 21:00
18.10.2022 Calgary  Vegas 21:00
20.10.2022 Calgary  Buffalo 21:00
20.10.2022 Edmonton  Carolina 21:00
22.10.2022 Edmonton  St. Louis 16:00
22.10.2022 Calgary  Carolina 22:00
24.10.2022 Edmonton  Pittsburgh 20:00
25.10.2022 Calgary  Pittsburgh 21:00
29.10.2022 Calgary  Edmonton 22:00
01.11.2022 Edmonton  Nashville 21:00
01.11.2022 Calgary  Seattle 21:00
03.11.2022 Calgary  Nashville 21:00
03.11.2022 Edmonton  New Jersey 21:00
05.11.2022 Edmonton  Dallas 16:00
05.11.2022 Calgary  New Jersey 22:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

  • none

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

East Coast in October

The Greater New York teams, including the New Jersey Devils, are definitely the easiest destination for European ice hoppers. This trip with four matches in four days, featuring four venues (you can reach Philadelphia by Amtrak easily), seven teams and the New York City derby is definitely a nice one!

Date Home Away Time ET
24.10.2022 New Jersey  Washington 19:00
25.10.2022 NY Rangers  Colorado 19:00
26.10.2022 NY Islanders  NY Rangers 19:30
27.10.2022 Philadelphia  Florida 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Lake Ontario & More

I am a bit of shy suggesting trips with too many Maple Leafs home matches, just as Scotiabank Arena tickets are that extremely expansive. This one is a nice trip, which you may start from Montreal. Most of the transfers can easily be done by public transport. And the risk of border crossing in October should still be reasonable.

Date Home Away Time ET
25.10.2022 Montréal  Minnesota 19:00
27.10.2022 Ottawa  Minnesota 19:00
29.10.2022 Buffalo  Chicago 19:00
31.10.2022 Buffalo  Detroit 19:00
02.11.2022 Toronto  Philadelphia 19:00
03.11.2022 Ottawa  Vegas 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Seatlle & Vancouver, Pt. 1

I suggest two trips for this season, which include Seattle and Vancouver home match. This one is in mid-November. Both are really beautiful cities, so that you may skip one of the matches to avoid additional border crossings.

Date Home Away Time ET
17.11.2022 Seattle  NY Rangers 22:00
18.11.2022 Vancouver  Los Angeles 22:00
19.11.2022 Seattle  Los Angeles 22:00
21.11.2022 Vancouver  Vegas 22:30
23.11.2022 Seattle  San Jose 22:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

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Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

Michigan & Illionois

Not only a nice one for Moritz Seider fans, having three Detroit home matches in five days. I especially like that trip, as the travel distance is convenient and as it features two teams I have rare run into during my travels, Arizona and Winnipeg.

Date Home Away Time ET
25.11.2022 Detroit  Arizona 19:30
27.11.2022 Chicago  Winnipeg 19:00
28.11.2022 Detroit  Toronto 19:00
30.11.2022 Detroit  Buffalo 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

Five Times Philly

Okay, I should not suggest this one. West side is best side and you will definitely have sad feelings when you stay in Philadelphia for five matches. But it is a really nice series of opponents – and it gives you the opportunities to visit places like Washington D.C. or New York City.

Date Home Away Time ET
29.11.2022 Philadelphia  NY Islanders 19:00
01.12.2022 Philadelphia  Tampa Bay 19:00
03.12.2022 Philadelphia  New Jersey 19:00
05.12.2022 Philadelphia  Colorado 19:00
07.12.2022 Philadelphia  Washington 19:30

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

A Longer East Coast Trip in December

That’s a nice one. Watching the Christmas tree on Rockefeller Center, feeling New York City getting ready for Christmas… and having six matches in five days (there are parallel matches twice below). Unfortunately, St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville pop up in here multiple times, but it is a cool – and rather affordable – trip.

Date Home Away Time ET
01.12.2022 New Jersey  Nashville 19:00
02.12.2022 NY Rangers  Ottawa 19:00
02.12.2022 NY Islanders  Nashville 19:30
03.12.2022 NY Rangers  Chicago 19:30
04.12.2022 NY Islanders  Chicago 19:30
05.12.2022 NY Rangers  St. Louis 19:00
06.12.2022 New Jersey  Chicago 19:00
06.12.2022 NY Islanders  St. Louis 19:30

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

A Short Trip To My Hockey Home Town

Even though it is just a short drive from Pittsburgh to Columbus, I never made it there. This series of matches gives a nice set of opponents, which might compensate for the commuting between the cities.

Date Home Away Time ET
03.12.2022 Pittsburgh  St. Louis 19:00
04.12.2022 Columbus  Detroit 18:00
06.12.2022 Pittsburgh  Columbus 19:00
07.12.2022 Columbus  Buffalo 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Happy New Year, West Coast

The Las Vegas New Year’s Eve Fireworks and some really interesting teams in Greater Los Angeles thereafter. This could really be a nice choice, especially if you wanted to be in the casino city for the big event anyway.

Date Home Away Time ET
31.12.2022 Vegas  Nashville 15:00
02.01.2023 Anaheim  Philadelphia 22:00
03.01.2023 Los Angeles  Dallas 22:30
04.01.2023 Anaheim  Dallas 22:00
05.01.2023 Los Angeles  Boston 22:30
06.01.2023 Anaheim  San Jose 22:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Seattle & Vancouver, Pt. 2

I would personally maybe skip the first Vancouver home match in here and have some good time in Seattle first, Vancouver thereafter. Nice closing match with Vancouver hosting the Oilers on 21st January 2023.

Date Home Away Time ET
16.01.2023 Seattle  Tampa Bay 16:00
18.01.2023 Vancouver  Tampa Bay 22:00
19.01.2023 Seattle  New Jersey 22:00
20.01.2023 Vancouver  Colorado 22:00
21.01.2023 Vancouver  Edmonton 22:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

  • none

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

East vs. West

This one is especially interesting if you like West Coast teams and don’t feel like traveling the long way from Europe. I am sure that especially that region offers even more options for good match-ups during the entire season.

Date Home Away Time ET
06.02.2023 NY Rangers  Calgary 19:30
07.02.2023 NY Islanders  Seattle 19:30
08.02.2023 NY Rangers  Vancouver 20:00
09.02.2023 New Jersey  Seattle 19:00
09.02.2023 NY Islanders  Vancouver 19:30
10.02.2023 NY Rangers  Seattle 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

Last, but Not Least: 7 Pens Matches in 11 Days

Okay, I at least need to give you my favorite series as a Pittsburgh Penguins fan as well. Unfortunately, it is rather tricky to arrive in time for a 19:00 hrs match at PPG Paints Arena if you travel in from Germany. I will take parts of this series for my 2023 trip to the Pens as well – I won’t do the whole trip though. Unfortunately, I miss the opportunity to see a match at Madison Square Garden as well – both Rangers away matches on the same weekend is very unfortunate in my point of view.

Date Home Away Time ET
07.03.2023 Pittsburgh  Columbus 19:00
09.03.2023 Pittsburgh  NY Islanders 19:00
11.03.2023 Pittsburgh  Philadelphia 15:30
12.03.2023 Pittsburgh  NY Rangers 16:00
14.03.2023 Pittsburgh  Montréal 19:00
16.03.2023 NY Rangers  Pittsburgh 19:00
18.03.2023 NY Rangers  Pittsburgh 20:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Follow Your Nation’s – Special Trips

In this section, I decided to find trips which are especially for Germans and Swiss people who want to see their best national players in a short time. Finding potential trips was significantly more difficult, as there are typically more. It does not make too much sense for other European nationalities, as many countries have either just a few NHL players – or so many that a single trip is rather useless. Even for Germany and Switzerland, I just concentrated on a few key players. In addition, I used the team assignment I have been aware of at the beginning of July 2022 – trades (and, of course, also injuries) may significantly influence the number of beloved players you in fact see

 

Follow the Germans

For the trip suggestions below, I decided to concentrate on the following players and franchises:

  • Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton
  • Philipp Grubauer, Seattle
  • Moritz Seider, Detroit
  • Tim Stützle, Ottawa
  • Nico Sturm, Colorado

I excluded Thomas Greiss, as he is a free agent at the time of writing.

 

Germany I

Traveling from Ottawa to Pittsburgh and then to New York is a bit of travel effort, but therefore you have a chance to see all the German players listed above in a rather short time. You may, of course, also skip the trip to Rayleigh and close the trip in Washington.

Date Home Away Time ET
03.11.2022 Ottawa  Vegas 19:00
05.11.2022 Pittsburgh  Seattle 19:00
06.11.2022 NY Rangers  Detroit 17:00
07.11.2022 Washington  Edmonton 20:00
10.11.2022 Carolina  Edmonton 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Germany II

No Grubauer / Seattle in here – but overall, this trip might be a bit more friendly, if you don’t like the large distances. There are some really good options for the trip between New York City and Boston. I would suggest flying from Buffalo to the Big Apple on 2nd December 2022.

Date Home Away Time ET
28.11.2022 Detroit  Toronto 19:00
30.11.2022 Chicago  Edmonton 21:30
01.12.2022 Buffalo  Colorado 19:00
02.12.2022 NY Rangers  Ottawa 19:00
03.12.2022 Boston  Colorado 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

Germany III

Even though you likely have at least two flights in here, I feel that this February 2022 trip with a Moritz Seider home match and two appearances by Draisaitl and McDavid could be a real treat.

Date Home Away Time ET
07.02.2023 Pittsburgh  Colorado 19:00
09.02.2023 Philadelphia  Edmonton 19:00
10.02.2023 NY Rangers  Seattle 19:00
11.02.2023 Detroit  Vancouver 12:00
12.02.2023 Montréal  Edmonton 12:30
13.02.2023 Ottawa  Calgary 19:30

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

 

Follow the Swiss

There are already so many Swiss players in the NHL that you likely won’t see them in one trip. In general, there are also quite a lot of Swiss players in the Western teams, which makes it more difficult to find good itineraries. The players I watched out for are

  • Roman Josi, Nashville
  • Nino Niederreiter, Carolina
  • Kevin Fiala, Minnesota
  • Timo Meier, San Jose
  • Nico Hierschier and Jonas Siegenthaler, New Jersey
  • Dean Kukan, Columbus

Here are a few trip suggestions

 

Switzerland I

Unfortunatley, I could not manage to find a slot for a Nino Niederreiter match in this trip, but it has some nice matches, including Minneota and San Jose. You have to choose between certain matches on three days, though

Date Home Away Time ET
20.10.2022 NY Rangers  San Jose 19:00
20.10.2022 NY Islanders  New Jersey 19:30
22.10.2022 Boston  Minnesota 13:00
22.10.2022 New Jersey  San Jose 13:00
23.10.2022 NY Rangers  Columbus 17:00
23.10.2022 Philadelphia  San Jose 19:00
24.10.2022 New Jersey  Washington 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Switzerland II

For Swiss fans, this one is my favorite – especially as you should also be able to get from Chicago to Boston early on 2nd January 2023 and add the NHL Winter Classics between Boston and Pittsburgh.

Date Home Away Time ET
01.01.2023 Chicago  San Jose 19:00
03.01.2023 NY Rangers  Carolina 19:00
05.01.2023 New Jersey  St. Louis 19:00
06.01.2023 Washington  Nashville 19:00
08.01.2023 Washington  Columbus 17:00
10.01.2023 Carolina  New Jersey 19:00
12.01.2023 NY Islanders  Minnesota 19:30

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

 

Switzerland III

The travel distances on the West Coast are just massive (if you exclude Los Angeles to Anaheim and Seattle to Vancouver). Thus, this one is a rather “handy” trip, even though it already requires a lot of commuting. The match in the tiny ASU Multi-Purpose Arena in Tempe, Arizona, might be a treat… if you manage to get tickets.

Date Home Away Time ET
25.02.2023 San Jose  Chicago 22:30
26.02.2023 Arizona  Nashville 19:00
28.02.2023 San Jose  Montréal 22:30
01.03.2023 Vegas  Carolina 22:00
03.03.2023 Vegas  New Jersey 22:00
05.03.2023 Arizona  New Jersey 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

 

Switzerland IV

After long traveling distances, this one is rather handy again (Buffalo might require flights, though).  Nice trip in March.

Date Home Away Time ET
19.03.2023 NY Rangers  Nashville 19:00
21.03.2023 NY Rangers  Carolina 19:00
23.03.2023 Philadelphia  Minnesota 19:00
24.03.2023 Buffalo  New Jersey 19:00
25.03.2023 New Jersey  Ottawa 19:00

Cities / Regions featured on Flyctory.com

Venues reviewed on Flyctory.com

  • none

 

 

Title picture: NHL Overview of home openers, copyrighted by the NHL

 

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Trip Report Inceptions

Here are the starting postings of each Trip Report I posted in here so far

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