10 must-see games on New York Rangers 2024-25 NHL schedule

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Florida Panthers
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Though the summer has just started, it’s not too early to look ahead to another New York Rangers season. The 97th Blueshirts season will commence on Oct. 9 with a road game in Pittsburgh against the division rival Penguins.

The Rangers will try for their fourth consecutive 100-point season, which would establish a franchise record. They also seek their first Stanley Cup championship since 1994, and second since 1940.

But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves.

With the release of the 2024-25 NHL schedule on Tuesday, let’s examine which Rangers games are most intriguing next season.

Related: Rangers top prospect returning to college this Fall

Rangers 2024-25 schedule: 10 must-see games

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, things will happen along the way that can make certain games more appealing or exciting than others on the schedule. But without predicting new rivalries or grudges or anything else that could make one more appealing than another, here are 10 must-see games on the Rangers schedule next season.

Oct. 12 vs. Utah Hockey Club

This is a slam-dunk choice for several reasons. For one, it’s the home opener for the Rangers, and not much beats Madison Square Garden on opening night. It’s also the first chance for Rangers fans to see the Utah Hockey Club in person during its inaugural season, and, you know, you never forget your first. Presumably the former Arizona Coyotes will have selected a nickname by time they arrive at The Garden — hopefully, they go with Yeti.

Oct 14 and 17 vs, Detroit Red Wings

OK, cheating here. Selecting a home-and-home set against the Detroit Red Wings, Oct. 14 at MSG and Oct. 17 at Little Caesars Arena, for a couple of reasons. First, Patrick Kane will be on the other side of the ice twice in four nights after choosing to re-sign with Detroit instead of returning to Broadway, despite all the reunion rumors. If Kane lights it up and the Rangers are still struggling to fill the right-wing hole alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, it will be an ugly reminder of what could’ve been. Second, the Red Wings are a talented young team on the rise, lots of fun to watch. It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers, now a measuring stick for other teams, handle an up-and-comer chasing them. Finally, there’ll likely be five other former Blueshirts in the Red Wings lineup: defenseman Erik Gustafsson, goalie Cam Talbot, and forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte.

Oct. 24 vs. Florida Panthers

Do we really need to explain? It’ll be the first game between these two teams since the Panthers eliminated the Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference Final, completely shutting down Zibanejad, Kreider and Artemi Panarin in that series. The Rangers will be looking to make an early-season statement against the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Nov. 3 vs. New York Islanders

Hey! We actually don’t have to wait until mid-February to see these in-state rivals face each other next season. Not only are Rangers-Islanders games always exciting, no matter who sits where in the standings, but this one is a Sunday matinee game. Afternoon games at The Garden are always fun, and this one will be the first of seven weekend matinee games at MSG. Bravo!

Nov. 14 vs. San Jose Sharks

Revenge game! Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch since we’re talking about the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners hosting the team that finished dead last in the NHL in 2023-24. But there’ll be some spice to this one. Barclay Goodrow, who’s none too happy with the Rangers after they placed him on waivers so he could be claimed by the Sharks, will return. So will Alex Wennberg, who snagged a stunning two-year, $10 million contract with the Sharks after his brief Rangers stint. But let’s be real. The main intrigue here is Macklin Celebrini making his Madison Square Garden debut. It’s always cool to get an early look at the expected next great player in the NHL, and No. 1 overall pick Celebrini is just that.

Nov. 23 at Edmonton Oilers

This one will be the late game of the Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader, and it’ll be a good one too. Full of star power with Panarin, Igor Shesterkin, Adam Fox and Co. against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard and the Western Conference champions in the Oil City. Sign us up!

Dec. 2 vs. New Jersey Devils

The first of four meetings next season between the early favorites to win the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers won the division last season, but the Devils have had a massive offseason and look scary good after adding goalie Jacob Markstrom, defensemen Brett Pesce and Brenden Dillon, and forwards Stefan Noesen and Tomas Tatar to an already talented roster. After injuries and poor defensive play kept them out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past season, the Devils are shaping up to be the Rangers’ biggest obstacle to winning the Metro again in 2024-25.

Dec. 17 at Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators made a ton of noise on July 1, signing three of the biggest names in NHL free agency: Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and Brady Skjei. This after re-signing goalie Juuse Saros to an eight-year contract extension. This will be the Rangers’ first look at the most improved team in the League, and should be an exciting road game in one of best arena atmospheres in the NHL.

Jan. 16 at Utah Hockey Club

Wait, this team again? Yup. It’ll be the Rangers first visit to the Delta Center, so, for sure, this is a must-see game. Maybe Alexis Lafreniere will remember New York’s last road game against this team (when they played at Mullet Arena and were the Coyotes). Ladreniere had his first NHL hat trick and five-point game in that contest last March. How about a replay in Salt Lake City?!

April 9 vs. Philadelphia Flyers

This could be a very important game for each team in the next-to-last week of the 2024-25 season. The Rangers certainly plan to be jockeying for the best playoff seed they can get at this point. And the Flyers, who barely missed making the playoffs this past season, should be fighting for their first postseason berth in five seasons. Plus it’s Rangers-Flyers. And there’ll be the unpredictable Torts behind the visiting bench.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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