The 2012 NHL lockout is over and business as usual resumes in the National Hockey League. With this morning's ratification of the 2013 NHL collective bargaining agreement (and tonight's signing of a Memo of Understanding between the NHL and PA), business as usual resumes for the league which had been idled by labor strife since September 15th, 2012.
Meaning the Tampa Bay Lightning can get back to where it once belonged: on the ice, playing games, and chasing the dream of Lord Stanley's Cup.
To conduct said chase for the Cup, the Bolts need a slate of games to play, right? It just so happens that one of the first official functions of the NHL with its new CBA was to release the full slate of schedules for all 30 member franchises.
The logistics of the television schedule - both local and national - have yet to be worked out or unveiled. That's forthcoming in the next few hours or days leading up to the January 19th opening date for the league.
As was already made public, the Bolts open the season at Times Palace on Saturday against the Washingotn Capitals. As we reported earlier today, the Bolts then head on a two game road jaunt before coming back home to play the Ottawa Senators. Vincent Lecavalier's 1,000th NHL game will be Monday against the New York Islanders.
The season will run until late April. Tampa Bay will close out the regular season schedule with a three game homestand before everything is said and done. April 27th and the season finale will pit the Bolts against the Florida Panthers (who they will meet five times this season).
The 48 game schedule will only allow so many contests, that is going to affect the division: Playing against Florida (5 times), Carolina (5 times), Washington (4 times) and Winnipeg (4 times) an uneven number of times is evidence of this.
There's more to comment on with the schedule, but it's been a long day of waiting for this thing to come out. Instead of prattling on - follow this link to view the full Tampa Bay Lightning schedule via NHL.com.