It's finally here. Blackhawks hockey is back.
July, August and September were spent waiting to see how general manager Stan Bowman would get the team under the salary cap. And now it's time to see his latest roster creation following a Stanley Cup victory take the ice.
There's no better way to start the regular-season than with a banner raising ceremony, and that's what's happening, yet again, for the Hawks.
Let's take a look at the upcoming week in Blackhawks' hockey:
Monday - Waiver wire
The last waiver deadline before the roster deadline is at noon. If a player isn't on waivers by deadline they will most likely stay with the team.
Tuesday - Roster deadline
The 23-man roster must be set by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Any player that clears waivers will be assigned, and other players who are waiver-exempt will assigned. Players battling injuries will be placed on injured reserve. It should be interesting to see how Michal Rozsival and Kyle Cumiskey's, if he's signed, injuries, and Bryan Bickell's vertigo symptoms come into play here. Although, the Hawks have stated that Bickell's symptoms will not be an issue.
The Indy Fuel, the Hawks' ECHL affiliate, drop the puck on preseason against Alaska at 11:15 p.m.
Wednesday - Banner raising
The sixth championship banner in Hawks' franchise history will be raised to the United Center rafters prior the faceoff against the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. Despite being the defending champions, the Hawks don't actually "kickoff" the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre an hour earlier. The NHL needs to make opening night special like the NFL does, one game hosted by the defending champions.
Here are the other NHL games:
Flames at Canucks - 9 p.m.
Kings at Sharks - 9:30 p.m.
The Fuel play another late-night game in Alaska.
Thursday - Off day
There are seven games on the NHL calendar, including a Central Division matchup between the Avalanche and the Wild. The Winnipeg Jets are also in action against the Bruins while the Stars visit the Penguins.
Friday - New York, New York
The Hawks hit the ice for the first regular-season game in Brooklyn against the Islanders. The Rockford IceHogs, the Hawks' AHL affiliate, also will make history on the road with their season opener at San Jose. IceHogs vs. Barracudas - what game.
Elsewhere in the NHL, there's Mike Babcock returning to Detroit behind the Maple Leafs' bench. How will he be received?
Saturday - More Hawks hockey
The Hawks wrap up the series against the Islanders at the United Center. The IceHogs travel north to Stockton to play the Flames.
In Central Division action, the Wild visit the Blues in a rematch of last year's first round playoff series. The Stars host the Avalanche, and the Predators visit Connor McDavid and the Oilers.
Sunday - Off day
The Hawks and IceHogs are off while the Fuel play their preseason finale at home against Evansville at 3:05 p.m. The only NHL game is the Senators visiting the Canadiens at 6 p.m.