Following the release of the 2013-14 Chicago Blackhawks schedule, a few dates seem to glow brighter than others.
Oct. 1, the defending champions will raise their 2013 Stanley Cup banner. This date will also be an early measuring stick when they open the season against reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
On a likely cold, windy day, the Blackhawks will face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins March 1 at the historic Soldier Field. This event will be the first-ever hosting of a professional hockey game on the turf of the NFL's Chicago Bears.
No longer Western Conference rivals, the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings will face off on Jan. 22 for the first time since Detroit's shift to the Eastern Conference. The rivalry should still be heated after the Red Wings gave up the stranglehold of a 3-1 series lead in last year's playoffs.
Speaking of rematches, on Jan. 19, the Boston Bruins will visit the United Center in an attempt to enact revenge on the Cup champions. Despite the 'Hawks defeating the Bruins four times in last year's Stanley Cup Finals, Chicago's last regular-season victory against Boston came back in 2010.
The Blackhawks have a full season of hockey and targets on their backs in the upcoming season. It'll be a long ride as they attempt to become the first team to defend their title since the 1997-98 Red Wings.