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One of the biggest disappointments in last year's lockout schedule was the Eastern Conference not being able to face teams from the West.
New Jersey lost very high-profile games when the schedule changed, including a rematch against the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and a showdown with former captain Zach Parise against the Minnesota Wild.
This year, the Devils will get their chance to see these teams in action. Here are three games I'm circling on the calender.
November 8 @ Toronto Maple Leafs
November 8 will be the first time the Devils face off against former teammate David Clarkson.
Clarkson signed a seven-year, $36.75 million contract this offseason with Toronto after leading the Devils in goals last season. His departure wasn't ridiculed as much as say, Ilya Kovalchuk and Parise, but it still hurts nonetheless.
Clarkson always played well when the Devils visited Toronto, and it will be interesting to see how he fares playing against his former 'mates for the first time.
November 15 vs. Los Angeles Kings
It will be the first time these two teams faceoff since the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, a rematch that fans have been dying for since last summer.
The two teams look a bit different than they did in 2011-12, but the key components of Jonathan Quick, Martin Brodeur, Anze Kopitar, and Patrik Elias still remain.
The rivalry hasn't died down despite the two teams not facing each other, and I expect a great match-up when LA comes back to New Jersey.
And don't forget what happened the last time Los Angeles played in New Jersey.
March 20 vs. Minnesota Wild
Fans have been waiting a long time for this match-up.
For the first time since leaving the Devils to go home to Minnesota, former captain Zach Parise will return to Prudential Center to take on the team he left after the Stanley Cup Final.
Devils fans were crushed when Parise left New Jersey, and his absence left a huge hole in a team that would eventually miss the playoffs last season without him.
People have mixed feelings about Parise. One side can argue that he abandoned a team that made him captain and just came off a Cup run, but others can understand his move back home.
With Kovalchuk leaving this offseason, I think it will take the hatred off Parise a bit. However, I still expect a huge crowd to come out and welcome Parise back to New Jersey (good or bad).