One thing is for certain about next season -- it will start late. Well, later than recent seasons have opened anyhow.
The Caps announced their pre-season schedule and it runs through Sunday, October 7th (which will be the 40th anniversary of the Isles' first game). Thus, it looks like the regular season will face off towards the end of the following week. This means that the Isles will not host a regular season Columbus Day matinee for only the 2nd time since the lockout.
Other than the lockout-shortened 1995 season, which began in January (following a Stanley Cup win by a team in one of the top 2 TV markets -- sound familiar?), the Isles have not opened later than October 10th in any season since 1985, when they opened on October 12th for the second consecutive year.
The Isles home opener has been on a Saturday in every year since 1987, except for a Sunday afternoon opener in 1999.
The home opener has been in October in every year except 1994 (when they opened in January 1995) and in 2004(when they didn't open at all). Let's hope that we don't add a third year to that list: 2012.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick