Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
October 2 vs. Buffalo Sabres: The Red Wings open up their standing in the Eastern Conference for the first time since the latest NHL team expansion in the late 1990s. No better team to get it started against than a new division rival in the Buffalo Sabres.
November 4 at Winnipeg Jets: The Red Wings visit the Winnipeg Jets for the first time since Winnipeg got their hockey team back. Detroit hosted Winnipeg last year, but never played last season due to the inter-conference schedule.
November 7 vs. Dallas Stars: The Red Wings welcome back former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill's Dallas Stars to Detroit for the only Stars visit of the season. Nill did not hesitate in his quest to make Dallas into a contender, making a flurry of moves in the offseason.
November 9 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Red Wings welcome back Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman to the Joe Louis Arena for the first time in two hockey seasons. Detroit will also be looking to make an example out of Valtteri Filppula who signed in Tampa Bay for a bigger paycheck.
December 1 at Ottawa Senators: No one in the hockey world would have blinked an eye at this game before Daniel Alfredsson signed with Detroit during free agency. Now this game should be circled on everyone's calendars as the first time Alfredsson will play against the Sens in his career.
January 1 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: The 2014 NHL Winter Classic features not only Original Six teams, but now division rivals as well. If Original Six teams and division rivals playing outside doesn't mean anything to fans, perhaps the fact that the game is being played outside at Michigan Stadium (with more than 110,000 in attendance) will draw attention.
January 12 vs. Chicago Blackhawks: The Red Wings were the only team to take the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks past six games in a playoff series, putting the champs on the ropes, forcing them to win three straight elimination games. This will be their first game since that series and first game as non-rivals.