If the NHL and the Players Association hammer out a deal in the coming days to open the season, the Sabres would have a far tougher opening to their schedule than they would have had under the old slate.
To save an 82-game season, the league would do the following:
1). Pick up the schedule as written starting with games of Nov. 2. That means the Sabres' season opener would be Nov. 3 in First Niagara Center against Carolina
2). Reschedule all missed games by adding one extra game every five weeks and then the rest in an April window that would likely extend 10-14 days past the current close (April 13).
3). There's no word from the league on this point, but you would think All-Star Weekend in Columbus might be scrapped so that time could be used to help make up games. 2:30 p.m. update: The Columbus Dispatch is reporting the league says the All-Star Game will go on if a new CBA is reached by Oct. 25 and the season opens Nov. 2
All games through Nov. 1 would need to be rescheduled. For the Sabres, that would be home games against Pittsburgh, Detroit, the New York Rangers, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Phoenix, as well as road games against the Devils, Boston and the New York Islanders.
The schedule was to have seen the Sabres seven of their first 10 at home. If it opens on Nov. 2, they would play eight of their first 13 on the road -- including five of their first seven. Three of those seven would be against the Philadelphia Flyers.
After Carolina, the Sabres would play in Philadelphia (Nov. 6), San Jose (Nov. 8), Phoenix (Nov. 10) and Anaheim (Nov. 11), then play a home-and-home with the Flyers Nov. 16-17.
For a team that would need a fast start to take off some of the pressure on the organization after last year's playoff miss, that would be a tough task. But there's a long way to go until we hit that point. There's that minor issue of hammering out a new CBA.
At least it's good to be pondering a schedule for a day.