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  • Centennial game, season opener, returns highlight Bruins’ 2024-25 schedule

    Tim Rosenthal July 2, 2024

    The NHL completed its 2023-24 campaign eight days ago after awarding the Florida Panthers their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Their rapid transition to off-season events continued Tuesday following the release of the 2024-25 regular season schedule.

    Following their busy summer to date, highlighted by the Linus Ullmark trade and the arrivals of Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov, the Boston Bruins aim to overcome their multiple disappointing postseason exits over the last decade-and-a-half. Their road toward a potential deep run begins with an immediate challenge against the defending champs.

    From the season opener to the Centennial Game and everything in between, here are some notable Bruins dates to circle for the first 82.

    Oct. 8 – season opener in Florida

    With the current flawed playoff format intact, the Bruins may have to go through the reigning champs if they envision a run toward hoisting their first Cup in 14 years. But for now, they’ll have to settle on watching the Cats cap off their championship celebration on banner night.

    The Panthers may have lost a stellar defensive piece in Brandon Montour after the veteran signed with Seattle on Monday. But they’ll return several pieces to last year’s squad, including Sam Reinhart, who signed an eight-year contract extension following his 57-goal slate a year ago.

    From Zadorov to Max Jones and Mark Kastellic, the Bruins added some needed size throughout their lineup to combat Florida’s frantic forecheck. They could have another intriguing individual two-way matchup involving Lindholm and Aleksander Barkov, especially if Boston’s new top-line center can refind his scoring touch — on a trio with David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha — from his career 2021-22 campaign where he produced 42 goals and 82 points with former teammate Matthew Tkachuk.

    Oct. 10 – home opener vs. Montreal

    Over the last decade, the Bruins-Habs rivalry transitioned from hatred to civility. This year, the schedule makers did no favors to instill a needed injection into the historic matchup.

    The Habs rebuild will likely continue for another season under Martin St. Louis. They’ll have a chance to make a decent early impression and spoil Boston’s TD Garden opener, albeit in their second game of a back-to-back.

    Oct. 19 – first trip to Utah

    The Salt Lake City-based franchise hardly sits around idly like an ancient mummy. The future Yeti’s(?) selected Tij Iginla, son of Hall of Famer and former Bruin Jarome, with their first-round pick and added Mikhail Sergachev and John Marino to their back end on Day 2 of the Draft.

    With some needed stability for their franchise following years of organizational ineptitude in Arizona, Utah should have an intriguing roster. Their newcomers complement a mix of emerging talent like Logan Cooley and Connor Ingram and reliable vets such as Clayton Keller. Whether they can inch closer to playoff contention is anyone’s guess.

    Oct. 26 – first matchup vs. Toronto

    Will this year mark the end of the Core Five era in Toronto?

    Mitch Marner and John Tavares are both scheduled UFA’s next season. Barring a trade, they’ll likely have one more chance at playoff success alongside Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Morgan Reilly.

    The smart money suggests Marner and Tavares remain on the Leafs roster at least to start their 2024-25 campaign under former St. Louis bench boss Craig Berube.

    Nov. 9 – Linus Ullmark’s return

    Barring injuries or other unexpected developments, Swayman and Linus Ullmark will share the ice for the first time as opponents. After three seasons of goalie hugs, it’s going take a little while to get used to the two close friends staring at each other on opposite nets.

    Nov. 26 – Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen and Derek Forbort return


    The Bruins and Canucks didn’t make an official transaction on Monday, but the two sides engaged in poaching one another’s free agents.

    DeBrusk will likely receive the bulk of the notoriety when the Cancuks arrive at Causeway two days before U.S. Thanksgiving. But it’ll be intriguing to see how the former Bruins establish themselves for a Vancouver bunch that made some decent strides last season after coming within a game of a Western Conference Final appearance.

    Nov. 29 – Black Friday vs. Pittsburgh and Matt Grzelcyk’s return

    The Grzelcyk family household should remain full for Turkey Day. By the next morning, however, Grzlecyk will enter Causeway Street as a visitor for the first time.

    Black Friday will mark the Pens’ lone visit to Boston. One has to wonder if this will also mean the last Garden appearance for Sidney Crosby. The Hall of Fame-bound centerman and 2005 first overall pick enters the final year of his $8.7 million deal.

    Dec. 1 – Centennial Game vs. Canadiens

    The second of three Bruins-Habs matchups

    At the very least, this is a fitting matchup. It will mark 100 years to the date of the match at the historic Matthews Arena against the old Montreal Maroons.

    Dec. 10-19 – Winnipeg, Seattle, Vancouver and Alberta trip

    The first of two five-game-in-nine-day trips out west begins with against reigning Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck and the Jets and ends against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the rest of the Western Conference champion Oilers.

    Jan. 9-11 – Florida trip

    The Bruins will get their first look at a Steven Stamkos-less Lightning squad on their first stop. Even without their leading scorer in franchise history, the Bolts still possess top-end talents like Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevisky and Victor Hedman and added more scoring depth at wing in their trade and subsequent signing of Jake Guentzel.

    From there, the Bruins will make the 256-mile trek south for their third contest with the Panthers.

    Feb. 8 vs. Vegas – Final game before Four Nations Tournament

    An injury-riddled season interrupted Vegas’ Cup defense plans in 2023-24. This time around, Bruce Cassidy and company will have to replace their leading scorer (Jonathan Marchessault) and one-half of their goaltending tandem (Logan Thompson) during a bit of a transitional period.

    The Golden Knights shouldn’t drop off too far among the list of Cup contenders. This matchup could mark a statement game of sorts between two teams hoping to make a final impression before embarking on a two-week layoff.

    March 20-29 – Vegas, California and Detroit trip

    Every team will have a better idea of their potential outlook following the trade deadline. The Bruins will help transition prospective newcomers they may acquire for the stretch run with more bonding time during their second nine-day road trip of 2024-25.

    They’ll face a variety of competition during this swing, beginning with the Golden Knights and continuing through San Jose (potentially with top overall pick Macklin Celebrini), Los Angeles and Anaheim before ending in Detroit.

    April 3 – Lone stop in Montreal

    The third and final Bruins-Canadiens matchup will mark Boston’s only appearance in the Bell Centre in 2024-25.

    Yes, this is another reminder that the league’s scheduling format needs to change to emphasize divisional matchups over facing every team at least twice per year. Still, the state of the Boston-Montreal rivalry will remain civil until the next time they meet in the playoffs.

    April 15 – Regular season finale vs. New Jersey

    With an array of young talent and Jacob Markstrom’s arrival, the Devils appear primed for a bounce-back season. The only thing that might need some settling here, however, is potential playoff positioning.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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