(Photo: NHL.com)

On Sunday, June 22, the National Hockey League released their 2014-15 schedule. This means that the hockey-deprived, of which there are many, can now begin their countdown clocks in earnest. Surprisingly the NHL GameCenter app doesn’t have a countdown clock built into its app, but there are apps that allow you to create important events, such as puck drop on the first home game for your team or the first game of the NHL season.

Among the special events taking place this coming season is the Winter Classic, which will see the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Washington Capitals on January 1. This is the second Winter Classic for each team.

T-Zero app by Dan Wesnor

T-Zero app by Dan Wesnor

And for those who can’t get enough of hockey, this season sees two Saturdays during the season where all 30 teams will be in action. The first uber-match Saturday will be October 11—just three days after the official season starts, which must be the reward for the fan faithful for surviving the off-season. And the second Saturday with 15 games will be on April 11, the end of the season; perhaps the hockey gods getting their last laugh before denying us hockey for the summer.

Between now and the puck drops of the four games that will take place on October 8, there will undoubtedly be some changes to lineups. There have already been some changes in coaching and management for teams including the Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and the Capitals, just to name a few.

October seems so far away for most hockey fans, but in the mean time the NHL Awards will take place on Tuesday, June 24 and will be televised. Many award winners will be announced and the cover of the EA Sports NHL 15 will be revealed.

This coming weekend the NHL Draft takes place in Philadelphia, with the first round being televised. And there has already been an increase in news announcements about contracts. So hopefully hockey news can help get the fan faithful through the off-season months.

A family historian by profession, Rhonda R. McClure has loved hockey since she was a child in New Hampshire. Any opportunity to combine her love of writing, hockey and research is something she looks forward to with much enthusiasm. She's been accused of seeking out shinny games when there are no other hockey events taking place. She is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. Follow her on Twitter at @HockeyMaven1917.

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