Detroit — With the draft completed, development camp taking place, and free agency about to begin, there’s a scent of hockey season out there.
To further whet people’s appetite, the NHL — including the Red Wings, obviously — Tuesday released its regular-season schedule.
The Wings will open their regular season with an unkind back-to-back, at least for that early in the season.
The Wings open the season Saturday, Oct. 5, in Nashville. As announced Friday, the Wings will open their home schedule Oct. 6 against Dallas.
The Red Wings will have 22 weekend home games this season — five on Friday, seven Saturday and 10 Sunday games at Little Caesars Arena.
The traditional New Year’s Eve game at LCA will be against San Jose beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Wings conclude the regular season April 4, at home, against Tampa Bay.
The Wings will face each Atlantic Division team four times, three games against the eight teams in the Metropolitan Division, and two games against all 15 Western Conference teams.
November will be the busiest month of the season, with nine of the 16 games being played on the road.
Filip Zadina, last year’s first-round pick, sat out the skating portion of Tuesday’s camp – and may do so the rest of the week.
The Wings said Zadina is nursing a sore hamstring, which developed through his offseason training.
Zadina will continue to work out off-ice this week, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to skate.
Also not taking part in any of the skating was Taro Hirose, who impressed the Wings in March after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State. Hirose also has a hamstring issue and is listed as day-to-day.
Defenseman Moritz Seider has time to reflect on getting selected in the first round Friday by the Red Wings.
“It was so much fun at the draft, now it’s kind of calm,” Seider said after his first workout at LCA. “It’s getting better. It’s fun to be here. It was pretty cool to spend another day with my family (back in Vancouver) and now come to Detroit.
“It was such a nice welcome here. Everyone is excited, so me too.”
Seider enjoyed walking into LCA.
“Amazing,” Seider said of his emotions. “When you walk into the building, it’s all brand new. It’s been real exciting so far.”
Seider expects discussions with the Wings’ front office at some point, regarding whether he’ll remain in Germany next season, or begin his pro career in North America.
Seider received an unexpected phone call upon being drafted Friday.
“Dylan Larkin called,” Seider said of the Wings’ young star. “I was so excited, I didn’t know what to say. It was just real cool.”
Forward Jonatan Berggren, a second-round pick from last year, has been healing from a stress fracture in his back.
Berggren didn’t take the ice on the first day of camp, but plans to go Wednesday.
“It was tough (last season), but I got to spend time in the gym,” said Berggren, who was limited to 16 games with Skelleftea (Sweden), where he’ll return this season. “I’ve never been so strong. I will be ready for the season.”
Red Wings made qualifying offers to restricted free agents Joe Hicketts, Patrik Rybar, and Dominic Turgeon, retaining their rights.
All likely will compete for jobs in Grand Rapids.
The Wings declined to qualify Martin Frk, Dylan Sadowy, Libor Sulak and Axel Holmstrom, all of whom saw their stock in the organization fall over the last season. All will become free agents, able to sign elsewhere. Sulak and Holmstrom will play in Europe next season.
Shawn Horcoff, the Red Wings’ director of player development, said the players in this camp are being pushed this week.
“We’re working on a lot of things that are uncomfortable for these guys,” Horcoff said. “Working on skills that will help them in the future, skills that they will need to develop in order to play in the NHL.
“They’re not there yet. It’s just the way it works. They’re kids.”