The National Hockey League’s preseason officially got underway on Friday, with the Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes, and St. Louis Blues beginning an exhibition schedule that is headlined by a series of games in Australia. The games we’ve seen so far from those three have been fun – the standout moment so far being a dazzling goal from Logan Cooley – but we’ve yet to see the Canadian teams hit the ice.
Edmonton Oilers to Win 2023/24 Stanley Cup (Boosted from +900)
The good news is that changes today. The Maple Leafs and Senators kick off the Canadian end of the schedule in Ottawa at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Jets and Oilers at 6:00 p.m. and the Canucks and Flames at 8:00 p.m. With teams being mum about lineups, most of the books are pretty cautious about putting lines out there, but as the day progresses you should have some options for you on bet365. Paired with our NHL preseason betting guide, you can have some fun here, whether you’re an expert looking to take advantage of the lineup uncertainties to gain an edge, or a casual fan looking to learn the markets.
For your convenience, we’ve also included the preseason schedules for all seven Canadian teams below, with a few thoughts on what to look out for from each team over the course of this camp.
Calgary Flames Preseason Schedule
|September 24||vs. Vancouver Canucks||8:00 p.m.|
|September 25||vs. Seattle Kraken (Split)||9:00 p.m.|
|September 25||@ Seattle Kraken (Split)||10:00 p.m.|
|September 27||@ Winnipeg Jets||8:00 p.m.|
|September 29||vs. Edmonton Oilers||9:00 p.m.|
|October 2||vs. Winnipeg Jets||9:00 p.m.|
|October 4||@ Edmonton Oilers||9:00 p.m.|
|October 6||@ Vancouver Canucks||10:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: Much of the talk of the town is focused on players who might be in their last season with the Flames, such as Mikael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, and Elias Lindholm, who will all need new contracts should they want to stay at all. My curiosity is whether or not they shake up who plays with Jonathan Huberdeau, who has a lot to prove this year after a roughly 50-point drop in production. Nazem Kadri was his primary centre last year, without much consistency on who the secondary winger was. This would be the right time to tinker with that. Also, we’ll get to see Ryan Huska’s approach to the bench as the team’s new coach.
Edmonton Oilers Preseason Schedule
|September 24||vs. Winnipeg Jets||6:00 p.m.|
|September 25||@ Winnipeg Jets||8:00 p.m.|
|September 27||vs Vancouver Canucks||9:00 p.m.|
|September 29||@ Calgary Flames||9:00 p.m.|
|Sptember 30||@ Vancouver Canucks||9:00 p.m.|
|October 2||@ Seattle Kraken||10:00 p.m.|
|October 4||vs. Calgary Flames||9:00 p.m.|
|October 6||vs. Seattle Kraken||9:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: Most of the Oilers’ offseason progress this year came off the ice, with Jeff Jackson hired as CEO and a bevy of hockey operations role changes already underway. On the ice, a lot of what’s happened has been along the fringes. Seeing whether Connor Brown is healthy enough to go is obviously a priority for most, but I’m particularly curious about some of Edmonton’s professional tryouts. Sam Gagner is the name that most are happiest to see, though with a recovery from double hip replacement still in the cards, it doesn’t sound all too likely to come with much playing time. Brandon Sutter, who has battled with long Covid symptoms over the past two years, is an interesting story in this camp. Is his conditioning back up to a point where he can help a team, even in the AHL?
Montreal Canadiens Preseason Schedule
|September 25||vs. New Jersey Devils||7:00 p.m.|
|September 27||vs. Ottawa Senators||7:00 p.m.|
|September 29||vs. Toronto Maple Leafs||7:00 p.m.|
|September 30||vs. Toronto Maple Leafs||7:00 p.m.|
|October 2||@ Toronto Maple Leafs||7:00 p.m.|
|October 7||@ Ottawa Senators||7:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: Before even getting to the roster, I quite like this preseason schedule. It’s one of the shortest in the league at just six games, and Montreal doesn’t veer too far from home, playing their first four games at the Bell Centre, not venturing out until next month, and even in those games, staying pretty local with games against Toronto and Ottawa. It’s a good way to keep the camp tight-knit and less wasteful. On the ice, Montreal has a bevy of players coming off of injury setbacks last year, and the focus will likely be on recently-extended sharp-shooter Cole Caufield and sophomore Juraj Slafkovsky.
Ottawa Senators Preseason Schedule
|September 24||vs. Toronto Maple Leafs||2:00 p.m.|
|September 25||@ Toronto Maple Leafs||7:00 p.m.|
|September 27||@ Montreal Canadiens||7:00 p.m.|
|September 29||vs. Winnipeg Jets||7:00 p.m.|
|October 1||vs. Florida Panthers||4:00 p.m.|
|October 2||@ Pittsburgh Penguins||6:00 p.m.|
|October 5||@ Winnipeg Jets||8:00 p.m.|
|October 7||vs. Montreal Canadiens||7:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: Michael Andlauer officially took over the Senators as their new owner this week, and he gets to jump right into the fire with exhibition games picking up right away. Ottawa’s schedule is a bit more chaotic than most, alternating frequently between home and road, facing five different teams along the way, and making the deepest Canadian foray into the US with a game against Pittsburgh. With regards to the roster, some closure on Shane Pinto’s future – whether it means him moving, or another player or two being moved out to make room for his contract – is going to be a point of discussion until it’s settled.
Toronto Maple Leafs Preseason Schedule
|September 24||@ Ottawa Senators||2:00 p.m.|
|September 25||vs. Ottawa Senators||7:00 p.m.|
|September 27||vs. Buffalo Sabres||6:30 p.m.|
|September 29||@ Montreal Canadiens||7:00 p.m.|
|September 30||@ Montreal Canadiens||7:00 p.m.|
|October 2||vs. Montreal Canadiens||7:00 p.m.|
|October 5||vs. Detroit Red Wings||7:00 p.m.|
|October 7||@ Detroit Red Wings||7:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: The talk of yesterday was a key special teams change for the blue and white, revealed in practice yesterday. Morgan Rielly is out as quarterback of the top powerplay unit, and John Klingberg is in. Debate about what purpose this serves has begun, with some saying that the until desperately needed the change and will improve with a booming shot from the point, and others saying that the unit was fine, that Klingberg isn’t that type of shooter, and that this is more of a matter of leveraging his strengths and making Rielly available elsewhere. Funny enough, there’s still a near-consensus agreement that this is a move worth trying.
Vancouver Canucks Preseason Schedule
|September 24||@ Calgary Flames||8:00 p.m.|
|September 27||@ Edmonton Oilers||9:00 p.m.|
|September 28||@ Seattle Kraken||10:00 p.m.|
|Setpember 30||vs. Edmonton Oilers||9:00 p.m.|
|October 4||vs. Seattle Kraken||10:00 p.m.|
|October 6||vs. Calgary Flames||10:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: There are a lot of curious points for the Canucks going into the season, but the most notable to me for the next few weeks will be seeing how a relatively revamped blue line shakes out after a few weeks of competition, and seeing if Nils Hoglander can hold onto his initial placement with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko. Hoglander was a casualty of Vancouver’s coaching fiasco last year, often finding himself lost in the shuffle until spending half the year with Abbotsford of the AHL, where he was reasonably productive. In my eyes, Hoglander has the skill and energy to contribute at a greater level, so I’m hoping to see him impress and cement his spot over the course of the exhibitions.
Winnipeg Jets Preseason Schedule
|September 24||@ Edmonton Oilers||6:00 p.m|
|September 25||vs. Edmonton Oilers||8:00 p.m.|
|September 27||vs. Calgary Flames||8:00 p.m.|
|September 29||@ Ottawa Senators||7:00 p.m.|
|October 2||@ Calgary Flames||9:00 p.m.|
|October 5||vs. Ottawa Senators||8:00 p.m.|
Worth Keeping An Eye On: The Jets’ offseason collapse didn’t quite happen the way people thought it would. Months ago, there was talk about just about every noteworthy player walking out the door. Now, while we have seen Pierre-Luc Dubois head to Los Angeles via a big trade, and Blake Wheeler head to the Rangers via a buyout, most of the familiar faces are here. I’m curious to see how Alex Iafallo and Gabriel Villardi, the two crown jewels of the deal with the Kings, fit into the mix.