For just the second time in franchise history, the San Jose Sharks will open the season at home against an Eastern Conference opponent. On October 4, the Sharks will host the Philadelphia Flyers on the NHL’s opening night.
The season opener marks the first time since 2013 that San Jose is not facing off against the rival Los Angeles Kings to begin a season, something the Sharks Twitter account had some fun with.
Sorry, @LAKings. Didn't mean to cut things off like this. We should have called first.— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) June 21, 2017
It’s also the first time since 2010 San Jose starts the campaign against an opponent outside of the Pacific Division. Seven years ago, the Sharks opened the season with a “home-and-home” against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Stockholm as part of the NHL Premiere Games.
San Jose last opened the season against an Eastern Conference foe almost 21 years to the date before their October 4 date with the Flyers. On October 5, 1996, the Sharks tied the New York Islanders 2-2 at the then-San Jose Arena.
The Sharks and Flyers are two of eight teams that will open the NHL season on October 4. The Pittsburgh Penguins, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, will unveil their championship banner against the St. Louis Blues. Plus, the Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames in the second straight season-opening Battle of Alberta, while Calder Finalists Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews will battle in Winnipeg when the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Bell MTS Place to take on the Jets.
The remainder of the Sharks’ schedule, as well as the rest of the league’s, will be revealed tomorrow at 12:00 PM in an hour-long special on the NHL Network.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that six teams will open the season on October 4, neglecting to include the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues. The article has been updated, and we regret this error.