Ice Hockey - Leafs to visit Montreal in season opener

The NHL has announced the 2013-14 season schedule, highlighted by the Chicago Blackhawks raising their second Stanley Cup championship banner in four years, the return of outdoor games and the new conference and division alignment.

Reuters
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Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (R) is congratulated by team-mate Jay McClement and Phil Kessel (L) after he shutout the New Jersey Devils (Reuters)

The regular season opens October 1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting the Montreal Canadiens. The Blackhawks will then raise their championship banner before taking on the visiting Washington Capitals.

The schedule includes the return of outdoor games. Six outdoor games will be played starting with the NHL Winter Classic on January 1 when the Maple Leafs take on the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium.

The league will break from February 9-25, 2014, for the Olympics as more than 120 players are expected to represent their respective countries in the men's ice hockey tournament.

The 2014 Stanley Cup play-offs start April 16.

Training camp begins September 11 and exhibition games start September 13.

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Men's hockey teams in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, will again include NHL players.

The NHL and the league's players union reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation to include the players.

It is the fifth straight Olympics that NHL players will be used in the Winter games, dating back to Nagano in 1998.

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The St. Louis Blues have agreed to terms on a two-year, $8.3 million deal with forward Chris Stewart, who was a restricted free agent, according to CBC.

He will get $4.1 million next year and $4.2 million in 2014-15.

Stewart, 25, led St. Louis in scoring last year with 36 points in 48 games.

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