Minnesota’s Xcel Energy Center is one of several NHL stops with cool features to check out. (Getty Images)

2016-17 Dates of Note

Oct. 12: NHL season openers

Oct. 13: Sabres season opener vs. Montreal at KeyBank Center

Oct. 23: Heritage Classic, Edmonton at Winnipeg (Investors Group Field)

Nov. 14: Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Toronto): Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, Rogatien Vachon (Player); Pat Quinn (Builder); Sam Rosen, Bob Verdi (Media)

TORONTO - OCTOBER 11: Eric Lindros #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during their NHL game on October 11, 2005 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Leafs beat the Flyers 4-2. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Eric Lindros will be among November's Hall of Fame inductees. (Getty Images)

Dec. 19-27 Holiday roster freeze

Jan. 1: Centennial Classic, Detroit at Toronto (BMO Field)

Jan. 2: Winter Classic, Chicago at St. Louis (Busch Stadium)

Jan. 28: All-Star Skills competition at Los Angeles (Staples Center)

Jan. 29: All-Star Game at Los Angeles (Staples Center)

Feb. 25: Stadium Series: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (Heinz Field)

Mar. 1: Trade deadline, 3 p.m. ET

April 9: Last day of regular season

April 12: First day of Stanley Cup playoffs

April TBA: Draft Lottery

May 28-June 3: Scouting Combine at HarborCenter

June 14: Last possible day for Stanley Cup final

June 23-24 NHL Draft at Chicago (United Center)

2016-17 Milestone Watch

Jaromir Jagr, Florida: Needs 20 points to pass Mark Messier for second all-time at 1,888. Enters the season eighth in games played at 1,629 and needs to play 24 to move up to fourth at 1,653.

Joe Thornton, San Jose: Needs 36 assists to become 13th player with 1,000 for his career; needs 58 points to move from 28th to 20th at 1,399, passing names such as Jari Kurri, Luc Robitaille, Brutt Hull, Mike Modano and Guy Lafleur.

Henrik Sedin is closing in on the 1,000-point club. (Getty Images)

Henrik Sedin is closing in on the 1,000-point club. (Getty Images)

The 1,000 point club: There are currently 83 members. Likely to join this year are Vancouver's Henrik Sedin (who starts the season at 970), Washington's Alex Ovechkin (966), Arizona's Shane Doan (945), Vancouver's Daniel Sedin (942) and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (938).

The 500-goal club: There are 43 members. Likely to join this year are Chicago's Marian Hossa (499) and San Jose's Patrick Marleau (481).

The 400-goal club: The are 91 members. Set to join are Arizona's Shane Doan (396), New York's Rick Nash (393), Los Angeles' Marian Gaborik (386) and San Jose's Joe Thornton (377).

Goalie wins: Florida's Roberto Luongo needs 19 to go from seventh on the career list at 436 to fourth at 455. New York's Henrik Lundqvist needs 26 to become the 12th to reach 400; Vancouver's Ryan Miller needs 10 to become the 21st to reach 350.

Coolest Sights in and Around NHL Rinks

PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh: Great photo ops include the world's largest goalie mask in the main concourse (9 1/2 feet high by 8 feet wide by 12 feet deep) and "Le Magnifique," the bronze statue of Mario Lemieux outside the main gate. It weighs 4,700 pounds and stands 10 1/4 feet.

Bell Centre, Montreal: History everywhere you go. In the rafters are retired numbers, the 24 "Coupe Stanley" banners and even a banner honoring the old Montreal Expos (where's our Buffalo Braves banner in KeyBank Center?). By the dressing room wall is four rows of replica Stanley Cups with six in a row. On the East plaza outside are statues of Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Guy LaFleur as well a plaque honoring every player and every award winner to play for the Canadiens.

XCel Energy Center, Minnesota: In the home of the most famous state scholastic tournament, there's a jersey of every high school team on the wall of the club level in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 24: A young fan of the Boston Bruins poses in front of a statue of Bobby Orr prior to the Bruins hosting the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Boston's Bobby Orr statue presents a prime photo op. (Getty Images)

Madison Square Garden, New York: Among the items in the three-year, $1 billion renovation of "The World's Most Famous Arena," the concourses are now a veritable hall of fame of photos and memorabilia from the arena's past. Rangers, Knicks, boxing, concerts and shows are all represented.

TD Garden, Boston: In bronze on the arena's east side is a statue of a leaping Bobby Orr, scoring his iconic overtime goal to win the Stanley Cup for the Bruins over St. Louis in 1970. It was unveiled on the 40th anniversary of the goal on May 10, 2010.

Air Canada Centre, Toronto: Legends Row facing Maple Leaf Square is a must-see photo op. It features bronze statues of former Leafs greats with many behind the bench and Darryl Sittler even hopping the boards. The current roster includes Sittler, Ted Kennedy, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, Syl Apps, George Armstrong, Mats Sundin, Tim Horton, Turk Broda and Dave Keon.

SAP Center, San Jose: The league's best player entrance by far. A fiberglass shark head is lowered from the rafters to the ice and the San Jose players skate through the mouth to hit the ice. The large red eyes blink, there's spotlights, smoke, music. During the Stanley Cup final in June, the fans' roar was deafening.

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