Pre-season schedule is out

The Hawks' official website has announced the pre-season schedule for this year:

The 2008-09 Blackhawks will open the preseason with three straight home games, beginning with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, Sept. 23, followed by the Minnesota Wild on Friday, Sept. 26, and versus the Dallas Stars on Sunday, Sept. 28.

The team will then hit the road for four consecutive games on Monday, Sept. 29 (at Columbus), Tuesday, Sept. 30 (at Minnesota), Thursday, Oct. 2 (at Dallas) and Friday, Oct. 3 (at Colorado).

The Blackhawks will then return home for preseason finale on Sunday, Oct. 5, when they host Colorado.

So, that October 5th game is indeed pre-season, so it looks like the season is going to start a little later than usual during the week following the 5th. Now we must wait just over two months before the first hockey action of the year -- start the countdown.