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NHL schedule release continues to hang on Olympic decision; Florida leak shows 20-day break

By Mike Harrington

If you're looking to mark your calendars for that visit by Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks or perhaps the return of Lindy Ruff with Dallas or Jason Pominville with Minnesota, you're going to have to wait at least another day.

The NHL's 2013-14 schedule, widely expected to be released late Wednesday afternoon, is not coming out even though all the teams have what is likely a final draft. The league cannot release the schedule until it wraps up a deal with the International Ice Hockey Federation to allow its players to compete in the Sochi Olympics.

The Olympics, of course, require a multi-week break in the schedule. Teams currently have two versions of the NHL slate, one with the Olympic break and one without it. Until the deal is signed, no schedule for the league can be released.

The NHL missed a huge PR window by not releasing the schedule Wednesday, because the day after the MLB All-Star Game is one of the deadest days of the year on the sports calendar. A release Thursday (or beyond) puts the schedule back up against the return of MLB and thus a secondary item in most markets. 

The Miami Herald is reporting about a leaked version of the Florida Panthers' schedule, which has no games from Feb. 7-27 for the Olympics. If you were to care about the Panthers for some reason, that version has them coming to Buffalo on Jan. 9 and Jan. 21, and has the Sabres traveling to Sunrise on Oct. 25 and March 7. The teams, remember, are now in the same division.

Oh yeah. The divisions. The league still hasn't released the names for those either. The betting here is one big announcement -- yay or nay on the Olympics, the schedule and the division names. Stand down until Thursday, schedule-watchers.

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Florida Panthers | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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