Shortened season will leave Jets bushed | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaShortened season will leave Jets bushed

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 | 01:22 AM

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Jets players watch the ice during a game against the New York Islanders on April 5, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Jets players watch the ice during a game against the New York Islanders on April 5, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The 2013 shortened schedule will be an exhausting 99-day odyssey for the Winnipeg Jets. They will rack up about 52,991 kilometres in the air. That's a few kilometres shy of nine round trips from the Manitoba capital to Sunrise, Fla., where the Florida Panthers call home.

The Winnipeg Jets were delivered the bad news late Saturday evening.

The 2013 shortened schedule will be a bleary 99-day odyssey, in which the Jets will rack up about 52,991 kilometres in the air. That's a few kilometres shy of nine round trips from the Manitoba capital to Sunrise, Fla., where the Florida Panthers call home.

The Vancouver Canucks usually lead the NHL in travel, but because the 48-game shortened season due to the lockout will consist of intra-conference play only, even the Canucks travel distance of 45,797 km will be shorter than Winnipeg's. 

Because re-alignment was shelved until next season, the Jets remain in the Eastern Conference and play all 24-road games in the Eastern time zone.

Winnipeg's 48-game schedule consists of five games each versus Southeast Division opponents in the Panthers and Washington Capitals, four games each against the other division opponents in the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes, and three games each versus the remaining 10 teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Jets longest road trip is five-game stint in mid-to-late February. Their longest home stand is a six gamer in mid-April.

Probably, the most difficult part of the schedule for the Jets will be the month of March when they play 16 times in 31 days.

At the end of the month they finish a stint on the road in Pittsburgh on Mar. 28, return home for a game against Carolina later on Mar. 30 and then fly to New York for another game against the Rangers on April Fool's Day.

Key dates

After the lengthy 119-day lockout, the 2013 NHL schedule will finally open its doors with 26 teams in action on Saturday. Here are the highlights to the 720-game shortened schedule:

  • Jan. 19 - The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will raise their championship banner prior to their matinee season opener against Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Jan. 19 - Opening day of the 2013 season, which includes HNIC games Ottawa at Winnipeg (3 p.m. ET), Toronto at Montreal (7 p.m. ET), Anaheim at Vancouver (10 p.m.).
  • Feb. 9 - Hockey Day in Canada, which includes Edmonton at Detroit (2 p.m. ET), Winnipeg at Ottawa (2 p.m. ET), Toronto at Montreal (7 p.m. ET), Calgary at Vancouver (10 p.m. ET).
  • April 3 - Trade deadline day.  
  • April 27 - Last day of the regular season.
  • April 29 - NHL entry draft lottery draw.
  • April 30 - Stanley Cup playoffs begin.
  • June 28 - Last possible day of Stanley Cup playoffs.
  • July 5 - Free agency period begins.

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