The Summer Olympics in Rio and baseball is all sports fans have to watch on television right now, further confirming that August sucks for hockey fans. While Hawks fans might be on the edge of their seats waiting for Jimmy Vesey to make a decision in a few days, there isn’t much going on these days.
Let’s look at ten games outside the Central Division that Hawks fans should have on their Must Watch List this season.
1. Toronto @ Chicago – Saturday, Oct. 22
2. Chicago @ Toronto – Saturday, March 18
Uber prospect Auston Matthews will visit the United Center for the first time early in the season, but won’t face the Hawks again until Chicago visits Toronto in the middle of March. It will be fascinating to see how his game grows between the two games.
3. Chicago @ Edmonton – Monday, Nov. 21
4. Edmonton @ Chicago – Saturday, Feb. 18
The Blackhawks haven’t faced Conor McDavid yet; he missed both games against Chicago because of injury last season. Chicago will see him for the first time during the annual November trip, and fans will get a chance to see McDavid in person at the United Center in mid-February. McDavid won’t have Taylor Hall with him in either game, but Milan Lucic is in Edmonton and the Hawks will have to deal with him as well.
5. Montreal @ Chicago – Sunday, Nov. 13
This should be the one opportunity for Hawks fans to see a theoretically-healthy Carey Price and former Preds captain Shea Weber at the United Center. It will also be the return of Andrew Shaw to Chicago, which should make this a hot ticket.
6. Florida @ Chicago – Tuesday, Nov. 29
Will this be Jaromir Jagr’s last time at the United Center? Any chance fans get to watch one of the all-time greats is appointment viewing.
7. New Jersey @ Chicago – Thursday, Dec. 1
It’s been years since the Devils made a list of must-see games in Chicago, but the acquisition of Taylor Hall makes Jersey an intriguing team this season (especially after former Edmonton teammates called out his effort against better teams).
8. Carolina @ Chicago – Friday, Jan. 6
The “triumphant” return of Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen will be the Blackhawks’ third game of the new calendar year.
9. Pittsburgh @ Chicago – Wednesday, March 1
The defending champs will be at the United Center during the preseason, but the game that matters during the regular season doesn’t happen until March.
10. Boston @ Chicago – Sunday, April 2
Not only is this the Hawks’ home finale for the 2016-17 regular season, but it will be David Backes’ first trip to Chicago not wearing a St. Louis Blues’ sweater.