NHL on NBCSN: Welcome to the 2019-20 season

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The 2019-20 NHL season begins Wednesday night with a four-game slate featuring the Ottawa Senators vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs, the St. Louis Blues raising their 2019 Stanley Cup banner against the Washington Capitals (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), the Vancouver Canucks visiting the Edmonton Oilers, and in a rematch of their wild Round 1 series last April, the San Jose Sharks take on the Vegas Golden Knights (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

LIVESTREAM: Capitals vs. Blues 

LIVESTREAM: Sharks vs. Golden Knights

GAMES OF NOTE

• The top two picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, meet for the first time in their NHL careers on Oct. 17 (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) when the New York Rangers visit the New Jersey Devils.

• The 2019 Stanley Cup Final rematch at TD Garden takes place on Oct. 26 (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins.

• On the outdoor game schedule, the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets play at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan in the Heritage Classic on Oct. 26 (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN). The 2020 Winter Classic will be held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas when the Stars take on the Nashville Predators on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET, NBC). Finally, from the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 15 (8 p.m. ET, NBC).

• The best of the best will head to St. Louis for NHL All-Star Weekend on Jan. 24-26, which will once again feature the divisional three-on-three tournament on Sunday afternoon following the NHL Skills event on Saturday night.

• The Vancouver Canucks will retire the jerseys of Henrik and Daniel Sedin on Feb. 12, 2020 before their game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

• Hockey Day in America will be Feb. 16 featuring the Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins; Boston Bruins at New York Rangers; St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators; and Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets. Airing on NBC and NBCSN, you’ll see nine games beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET and the last game starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

[PHT PREDICTIONS: EAST / WEST / STANLEY CUP]

NEW RULES

Here’s a helpful explainer of all the rule changes that will go into effect this season.

MILESTONES

• There are a number of marks that players could and likely will hit this season, including…

Alex Ovechkin needs only 42 goals to become the eighth player in NHL history to reach the 700-goal mark.

Sidney Crosby needs only four goals to reach 450 for his career.

Steven Stamkos (7), Evgeni Malkin (9), and Patrick Kane (44) are closing in on 400 goals in their respective careers.

Joe Thornton is 22 points away from becoming the 14th member of the 1,500-point club. He will also reach the 1,600 games played mark if he suits up for 34 games.

Henrik Lundqvist is just one victory away from reaching 450, all with the New York Rangers. He would become the sixth goalie in NHL history to reach that mark.

• Joel Quenneville will join Scott Bowman on the list of NHL head coaches with 900 wins with 10 more victories.

Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a special 90-minute edition of NHL Live, as host Kathryn Tappen, analysts Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp, and NHL insider Bob McKenzie preview the evening’s doubleheader and the upcoming 2019-20 season. Jeremy Roenick will be on-site in St. Louis to capture the scene outside Enterprise Center prior to the raising of the Blues’ first-ever Stanley Cup championship banner.

Mike Emrick, who returns for his 15th season as NBC Sports’ lead NHL play-by-play commentator, Eddie Olczyk and Brian Boucher will call Capitals-Blues from Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. Brendan Burke and Pierre McGuire will have the call of Sharks-Golden Knights from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

MORE:
2019-20 NHL Power Rankings
PHT’s 2019-20 season previews
Which 2019 NHL playoff teams are in danger of missing this season?
• 2019 NHL free agency tracker
NHL on NBC television schedule

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.