The Los Angeles Kings and the Arizona Coyotes will fly down under to make history as the first teams to lock horns in an NHL preseason affair on Australian soil.
The two young and rising teams will meet each other twice on September 23 and September 24 (9 p.m. PT) at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Victoria.
The Australians have already been honored to watch high-profile ice hockey exhibitions such as the one between the United States and Canada in the “Ice Hockey Classic.” The country also hosted hockey legend Wayne Gretzky during a promotional tour in 2016.
While neither Los Angeles nor Arizona have Australian players on their rosters, only one NHL athlete has Aussie connections — Nathan Walker, a St. Louis Blues’ forward who was born in Cardiff, Wales, has Australian origins. But that won’t stop hockey fans from getting in on this game’s sports betting action.
Even though ice hockey is not among the most popular sports in Australia, the tickets have already sold out! The Aussie fans definitely seem excited to take part in this historic occasion and witness the fastest team sport in the world live.
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NHL Preseason Schedule
Ice hockey fans will enjoy an extensive 111-game preseason schedule through a 15-day span from September 23 through October 7.
The schedule takes the best teams in the league to 44 different venues. On top of Melbourne, twelve more neutral sites in North America will host the preseason action, including the following:
- Wichita, Kansas, US (Coyotes vs. Blues, September 23)
- Cedar Park, Texas, US (Coyotes vs. Stars, September 24)
- St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada (Maple Leafs vs. Sabres, September 27)
- San Diego, California, US (Ducks vs. Kings, September 29)
- Independence, Missouri, US (Stars vs. Blues, September 30)
- Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada (Panthers vs. Senators, October 1)
- Palm Desert, California, US (Ducks vs. Coyotes, October 1)
- Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (Senators vs. Penguins, October 2)
- Orlando, Florida, US (Panthers vs. Lightning October 3)
- Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada (Kraken vs. Canucks, October 4)
- Salt Lake City, Utah, US (Kings vs. Sharks, October 5)
- Tucson, Arizona, US (Ducks vs. Coyotes, October 7)
It is worth noting that the No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft, Connor Bedard, is expected to make his preseason debut for the Chicago Blackhawks on September 28 when the St. Louis Blues come to visit the United Center.
The Avalanche Stand Tall in the Early Stanley Cup Odds
The regular 2023/24 season will start on October 10, with three games on the slate. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators will be honored with raising the curtain on the new season at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Generational talent Connor Bedard will be on the ice with his Chicago Blackhawks at 8 p.m. ET while the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, complete an exciting opening day action with the home game against the Seattle Kraken.
Sportsbooks in the USA do not see Vegas as the main contenders for the title defense, though, pricing them only sixth in the pecking order for the 2023/24 Stanley Cup. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who secured the signing of Erik Karlsson on the back of his 100-point campaign, are not even among the top ten contenders for Stanley Cup glory.
Instead, the Colorado Avalanche and the Carolina Hurricanes stand out as the top two favorites at the moment, sitting just above the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers, and the New Jersey Devils. We can’t wait for the start of the action, as exotic preseason exhibitions could already provide some important answers in terms of the early power rankings.
All of the major US sportsbooks already have lines for preseason matches available. With what is sure to be a thrilling season of hot action on the ice just around the corner and plenty of sportsbooks offering enticing welcome offers, the timing has never been better for hockey fans to sign up and start their NHL betting adventure!
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