The Sharks’ full 82-game schedule was released on Thursday, featuring the team’s first-ever games against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
San Jose will play the Golden Knights, now a Pacific Division rival, four times in 2017-18. The Sharks visit Sin City on Nov. 24, while the Golden Knights make their first of two appearances at SAP Center on Feb. 8.
The Sharks open their season with a five-game homestand, including the season-opener on Oct. 4 against Philadelphia, continuing with games against the Kings, Sabres, Islanders and Canadiens. After that, they immediately embark on a five-game swing through the Eastern Conference.
The longest homestand of the season is six games from Feb. 27 – March 12, while the Sharks have three separate five-game road trips. There are 14 sets of back-to-backs.
Other notable home games include the Western Conference champion Nashville Predators on Nov. 1; Bob Boughner’s Florida Panthers on Nov. 16; the two-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 20; the Oilers first of two visits Feb. 10; and the regular season finale vs. Minnesota on April 7.
There are two matinee home dates on March 10 vs. Washington and March 24 vs. Calgary, both beginning at 1 p.m.
The complete broadcast schedule will be released at a later date.
UPDATE (6:28pm PT on Wednesday): The Las Vegas Golden Knights have selected Sharks defenseman David Schlemko in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
A few hours before the Vegas Golden Knights roster was set to be unveiled, word leaked on which Sharks player they have selected.
Defenseman David Schlemko will be headed to the expansion team, which will begin play in the fall, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
A source told NBC Sports California that there is no side deal or trade between the Sharks and Golden Knights. Vegas is simply selecting one of the available players that the Sharks did not protect ahead of the expansion draft.
It’s possible that the Golden Knights are selecting Schlemko with the purpose of trading him to another team. The 30-year-old is signed for the next three years at a reasonable $2.1 million salary cap hit.
The Sharks should have internal options to replace Schlemko, who, in his only season with the Sharks, notched two goals and 16 assists for 18 points in 62 games while skating primarily on the third defense pair with Brenden Dillon.
Dylan DeMelo, who has served as the seventh defenseman for each of the last two seasons, could finally break through to earn a full time spot in the active lineup. Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan, who both spent the majority of the 2016-17 season with the AHL Barracuda, were signed to two-year contract extensions late last week and could be ready to break through.
By selecting Schlemko, Vegas is passing on other available Sharks like Dillon, Paul Martin, Joel Ward and Mikkel Boedker.