MONTREAL — It's time for Blue Jackets fans to circle dates on the calendar.
A day before the 2022 NHL draft, which includes the sixth and 12th overall picks for Columbus, the team released its full 2022-23 schedule — including the season-opener Oct. 12 at Carolina, the home-opener Oct. 14 against Tampa Bay and back-to-back games Nov. 4-5 in Tampere, Finland, against the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
The games in Finland, part of the NHL's global series, reduced the amount of home and away games to 40 each for the Blue Jackets in North America during the league's 82-game schedule. They'll face their rivals in the Metropolitan Division 26 times and square off with Atlantic Division teams 24 times, including half (25 games) held at Nationwide Arena.
Atop the list of notable home matchups are visits Nov. 10 and Nov. 15 by the Philadelphia Flyers, who recently hired former Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella and former Blue Jackets assistant Brad Shaw and feature former Blue Jackets star Cam Atkinson.
Other prominent home dates include the Pittsburgh Penguins (Oct. 22, April 13), Chicago Blackhawks (Dec. 31), Detroit Red Wings (Nov. 19 and Dec. 4), Toronto Maple Leafs (Feb. 10) and Edmonton Oilers (Feb. 25).
The games against Toronto and Edmonton will be the lone appearances in Columbus for star forwards Auston Matthews (Maple Leafs) and Connor McDavid (Oilers), while Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno will make just one return appearance to Nationwide Arena (Oct. 28).
The schedule also provides two four-day stretches without games before and after the trip to Finland, keeping the Jackets out of action Oct. 31-Nov. 3 prior to facing Colorado and Nov. 6-9 after returning home. They’ll host Tortorella’s Flyers on Nov. 10 in the first game following the trip.
November features the most home games, as Nationwide Arena hosts nine of 12 games that month. March features 10 of 13 games on the road in the Jackets’ longest period away from Columbus.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus Blue Jackets to open 2022-23 at Carolina Hurricanes