The Columbus Blue Jackets hit the ice for their 21st campaign with a season opener tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.
Skating the news: Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm at Nationwide Arena.
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There are still some tickets available on Ticketmaster and Stubhub, but be ready to open your pocketbooks — it's opening night.
You can also catch the game on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 The Fan.
What's new: Columbus features new leadership this season, with longtime assistant coach Brad Larsen taking over head coaching duties.
Larsen replaces John Tortarella, the NHL legend who had led the Jackets since 2015.
Center Boone Jenner was named the team captain for this season. The nine-year veteran is fourth all-time in goals scored for the franchise with 121.
In memory: The Blue Jackets are honoring the memory of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks tonight, who died in a July 4 fireworks accident at coach Manny Legace's home in Michigan.
Kivlenieks' family members will participate in a ceremonial puck drop before the contest.
The team will display a banner with his No. 80 and players will wear "80" helmet stickers all season.
A new Matiss Kivlenieks Memorial Fund will support youth hockey in both Ohio and his home country of Latvia, with more than $100,000 already raised.
State of play: The Jackets' streak of four consecutive playoff berths ended last season and the team is firmly in rebuilding mode.
Gone are a number of fan favorites, including Nick Foligno, Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson, David Savard and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Sportsbooks give Columbus the longest of longshots to win a Stanley Cup title with somewhere around 1-in-200 odds, Axios Sports' Kendall Baker reports.
Yes, but: That's the beauty of opening day — every team starts out with a 0-0 record. Hope springs eternal.
👋 Tyler here. I'm going to the game. If you see me, say hi!
I'll be the one in the upper deck with a Jackets hoodie and a personal pizza. Can't miss me.
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