The 2008-2009 NHL season schedule was released on July 17, 2008.
As expected, the season starts off early in Europe, on October 4. Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers face off for a two-game stint in Prague. Daniel Alfredsson gets to play at home as the Senators battle Pittsburgh in Stockholm.
While that current tradition continues, the rest of the year returns to old traditions.
It will be a return to the old days, when all 30 teams play against all 29 opponents at least once.
Each club will play against teams not in their division, but in their own conference, four times.
For those in their own division, they will face off six times. This is a reduction from the past few seasons, when it was eight games.
Most enjoyable is that Canadian teams play each other twice, once at home and once away. This means Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver finally get a taste of Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa, and vice versa.
Back again are the long home stands and long road trips, rather than one or two here and there.
It looks like the "new" NHL is not so new after all.