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Breaking down the Canucks 2024-25 regular season schedule

The Vancouver Canucks' schedule for the 2024-25 season will feature two first-overall picks from Vancouver making their hometown debut.
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Vancouver's Macklin Celebrini will make his hometown debut in the NHL in December.

On Tuesday morning, the NHL released the schedule for the 2024-25 regular season, because the past week hasn’t been full of enough NHL news.

It seems like the type of thing that the NHL could have waited to release in a week or two to get the league back in the news cycle during a slow period, especially since it feels way to early to be thinking about the 2024-25 season. You could say the same of their odd decision to release the initial rosters for the 4 Nations Face-Off on the day of the draft, an announcement that could have come in August rather than getting buried in other news.

But I digress.

The Vancouver Canucks announced their schedule with an awful lot of flying skate jerseys in the graphic and a red and black colour scheme. Is this a sign that the team will be switching to the skate jersey as their main jersey next year? Or is this just a reflection of the Netflix-themed announcement, with the skate colours more closely resembling the Netflix branding?

Key details in the Canucks’ 2024-25 schedule

There are a few things to note about the Canucks’ schedule.

The first is that the Canucks will have nine back-to-backs during the 2024-25 season, the same number they had last season. That was among the fewest back-to-backs in the league, giving the Canucks a slight advantage.

The Canucks’ first set of back-to-back games doesn’t come until mid-November, over a month into the season, and it will come on home ice, so the Canucks will have time to get rolling before facing the challenge of fatigue.

They don't have quite the same advantage of facing opposing teams on the second half of back-to-backs as they did last season but it's still a more favourable schedule than many other teams.

In terms of the sheer number of games, January and March could prove to be the toughest months, with 15 games each. 10 of the games in January will be on the road, while March will feature a six-game road trip.

There’s one subtle way the schedule is in the Canucks’ favour. The Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings finished second and third behind the Canucks in the Pacific Division last season and they’re shaping up to once again be their toughest competitors in the coming season, along with the Vegas Golden Knights.

It’s good fortune, then, that the Canucks only play the Oilers and Kings three times as opposed to the rest of their Pacific Division rivals, who they’ll face four times. Well, okay, the Canucks also face Utah three times but it’s very weird to think of them as a Pacific Division rival.

Of course, you could look at it the other way too: the Oilers and Kings’ schedules are a little bit easier because they only have to face the Canucks three times.

There’s one other thing to note: Prime Video will be broadcasting 26 games in Canada next season, all on Mondays. It’s unclear how many of those games will feature the Canucks but the Canucks do have seven Monday games next season, so you can expect that one or more of those games will only be available to watch if you have a Prime Video subscription.

Key games in the 2024-25 Canucks schedule

October 9 - Home opener against the Calgary Flames

The Canucks have started five-straight seasons with a game against the Edmonton Oilers but the 2024-25 season will kick off with their home opener against a different Alberta rival, the Calgary Flames.

The Canucks will also start with two games on home ice for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

October 17 - Facing the defending Stanley Cup Champions

The Canucks’ first road trip will take them to Florida to face first Jake Guentzel and the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 15, then the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers on October 17.

The road trip will wrap up with games against the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks.

October 30 - Hughes family reunion

The New Jersey Devils will be in Vancouver on October 30 for an All Hallows’ Eve Eve match-up. That means Jack and Luke Hughes will once again face big brother Quinn.

So far, Jack has the upper hand in the family faceoff, with a 6-1 record against Quinn in six meetings. Quinn did beat Luke last season, however, in a game that Jack missed with an injury.

Quinn will surely be looking to light the lantern a few times against Jack to even the score.

November 9-19 - Six-game homestand

The first of the Canucks’ two six-game homestands will come in mid-November and will include a game against Bo Horvat and the New York Islanders on November 14, as well as a couple of other notable opponents.

November 9 - Rematch with the Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers knocked the Canucks out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 of their second-round series. November 9 will be the first chance for the Canucks to enact some measure of revenge.

November 16 - Connor Bedard’s first NHL game in Vancouver

Last season, Vancouver’s Connor Bedard missed his first chance to play against the team for whom he grew up cheering, as he missed the Chicago Blackhawks’ lone game in Vancouver with a broken jaw.

He surely won’t miss his second chance to play in his hometown.

November 23 - December 3 - Six-game road trip

The Canucks’ first six-game road trip of the season will come hot on the tails of their six-game homestand.

Notable games include facing the Boston Bruins — featuring Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm — on November 26, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 27, and Sam Lafferty and the Buffalo Sabres on November 29.

Okay, one of those is a little bit less compelling than the others.

The game against the Bruins will also be the first time Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, and Derek Forbort face their former team.

December 6-16 - Six-game homestand clash with Taylor Swift

The Canucks’ second six-game homestand of the season will be particularly interesting because Taylor Swift will be bringing her Eras tour to BC Place, with three shows on December 6, 7, and 8. With the Canucks playing at Rogers Arena on both December 6 and December 8, traffic and transit could be an absolute nightmare.

At least the game on December 8 against the Lightning is an afternoon game starting at 1:00 p.m. which should mitigate the issue a little bit.

December 14 - Return of Zadorov and Lindholm to Vancouver

On December 14, the Canucks’ big trade acquisitions from last season will make their return to Vancouver, both as members of the Boston Bruins.

Will they be booed? Cheered? Will they get tribute videos on the big screen despite playing in Vancouver for less than a season?

December 18 - First game in Utah

For the first time ever, NHL hockey will be played in Utah, not counting the seven preseason games they’ve hosted in the past.

The Canucks will play their first game against the creatively-named Utah Hockey Club on December 18 in Salt Lake City, again on Februrary 23, and then finally host them on home ice on March 16.

December 23 - Macklin Celebrini’s first NHL game in Vancouver

One first-overall pick from Vancouver will make his hometown debut in November in Connor Bedard but we’ll have to wait until December to see this year’s first-overall pick from Vancouver.

Macklin Celebrini could be a star for the San Jose Sharks in his rookie season and he’ll surely have a lot of family and friends at Rogers Arena for a Christmas Eve Eve game on December 23.

Just in case Celebrini misses this game for any reason, the Sharks will again be in town near the end of the season on April 14.

January 25 - Alex Ovechkin visits Vancouver

Ovechkin will start the season 41 goals behind Wayne Gretzky for the all-time goalscoring record. He had 31 goals last season but the Washington Capitals will be doing everything in their power to get him the record next season.

Will he score any goals in Vancouver on his way to glory? Or can the Canucks stymie the Great 8?

February 8 - Toronto Maple Leafs in town

Apparently, this is a big deal to some people. The game will be at 4 p.m. on a Saturday because of course it will.

February 12-20 - 4 Nations Face-Off

The NHL will take a break in its schedule for international hockey in February but that doesn’t mean all of the Canucks will be taking a break.

Quinn Hughes has already been named to the Team USA roster for the tournament and it’s almost certain that Elias Pettersson will be named to Team Sweden. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that J.T. Miller, Thatcher Demko, and Brock Boeser could join Hughes on Team USA depending on how they perform in the regular season.

That’s some extra wear and tear on the Canucks’ biggest stars, so Canucks fans will likely be holding their breath for the entire tournament, praying that none of them get injured.

March 20-30 - Six-game road trip

How important will this road trip be? Will the Canucks be comfortably in playoff position and looking to push for home-ice advantage? Or will this be a key moment for the Canucks to earn their spot in the postseason?

This could be a tough trip, with games against the St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils (a Hughes brothers rematch), New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Winnipeg Jets.

April 16 - Fan appreciation night

The Canucks close out the season with a three-game homestand, culminating in their final game on April 16 against the Vegas Golden Knights, which will also be fan appreciation night, according to the Canucks.

Will it also be a crucial battle for position in the Pacific Division?