PITTSBURGH — Benjamin Franklin made it famous that nothing in life can be certain except death and taxes. So even as the NHL schedule was released Thursday, there’s no guarantee it’ll play out as scheduled.
With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire Sept. 15, there’s a sense around the league that a lockout could cost at least some regular-season action.
“I’m hopeful that we’re playing,” Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee said last week.
“That’s for other people to talk about. I’m a hockey operations guy, and I’m trying to make a team.”
If a new CBA is agreed upon on time, the Caps will open the 2012-13 regular season at Verizon Center Oct. 12 against the defending Eastern Conference-champion New Jersey Devils.
Their longest road trip of the season is just four games, the annual horse show swing in late October that includes games at the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild.
Of the Caps’ 41 scheduled home games, 18 are slated to be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. They won’t host former coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks but visit Feb. 13.
The Caps are set to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Year’s Eve at Consol Energy Center.
As far as Western Conference opponents go, they’re scheduled to see the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings at home and on the road. The Kings visit Washington on Super Bowl Sunday.
The season finale would be April 13 at home against the Tampa Bay Lighting. But the entire 82-game schedule, of course, is pending a new CBA. Negotiations have not yet begun, according to recent comments by commissioner Gary Bettman.
CAPITALS 2012-13 SCHEDULE
Fri., Oct. 12 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 13 at Ottawa 7 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 15 Florida 7 p.m.
Weds., Oct. 17 Toronto 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 19 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 20 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 23 at Winnipeg 8 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 27 at Calgary 10 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 29 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Weds., Oct. 31 Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 2 Boston 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 4 Dallas 5 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 6 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m
Thurs., Nov. 8 Edmonton 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 10 Toronto 7 p.m.
Weds., Nov. 14 at N.Y. Rangers 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 16 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 18 Florida 5 p.m.
Weds., Nov. 21 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 23 at Dallas 8 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 25 at St. Louis 7 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 27 San Jose 7 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 29 at Florida 7:30 p.m.