Whether they have Ilya Kovalchuk in tow or not, the New Jersey Devils will travel to Nassau Coliseum to face the New York Islanders for each team’s season opener on Jan. 19, according to the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti.
Gulitti reports that the Devils’ home opener is likely to be Jan .22, although their opponent hasn’t been determined. That gap might not imply a big break for New Jersey, however; Gulitti also reports that the Devils could play three games in the first four days of the season.
The Islanders’ second foe is still unclear as well, but Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports that their next game will probably take place on the afternoon of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21).
Kovalchuk doesn’t necessarily represent the only roster-related drama heading into Jan. 19, either.
Lubomir Visnovsky quite clearly wants to stay overseas instead of playing for the Islanders, although his agent confirmed that he’ll honor the contract if he must. It remains to be seen if GM Garth Snow & Co. decide that it’s a battle worth fighting.
Either way, two division rivals will battle things out on the first night of the abbreviated season.