NHL Travel Miles: The 2013-2014 Super Schedule is Here!

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks will travel over 36,000 miles this season, so that bus isn't gonna cut it. - Jonathan Daniel

For the third time in the six years I've been calculating the total distance traveled by NHL teams during the upcoming season, the San Jose Sharks will log the most mileage in the league, with over 57,000 miles ahead of them on the 2013-14 NHL schedule.

Below you'll find the total travel mileage and number of times each NHL team plays games on back-to-back nights for the upcoming season, along with the two previous full seasons (2011-12 and 2010-11) for a point of comparison. To go even farther back, check out this post from our archives, which contains data going back to the 2008-9. You should be able to click the column headings and this table will re-sort itself automagically:

Team 2013-14 Miles 2013-14 B-to-B 2011-12 Miles 2011-12 B-to-B 2010-11 Miles 2010-11 B-to-B
Anaheim Ducks 48,568 14 50,296 13 47,838 15
Boston Bruins 42,389 17 33,770 13 35,673 14
Buffalo Sabres 34,812 13 35,911 21 30,347 22
Calgary Flames 48,970 12 49,104 10 48,004 13
Carolina Hurricanes 38,879 20 38,114 16 40,874 21
Chicago Blackhawks 38,680 18 39,288 17 40,498 18
Colorado Avalanche 49,007 10 48,945 10 44,190 14
Columbus Blue Jackets 36,597 17 42,831 16 44,600 18
Dallas Stars 46,660 13 49,622 14 46,244 12
Detroit Red Wings 35,324 15 42,865 14 39,793 14
Edmonton Oilers 45,192 12 50,006 12 50,309 11
Florida Panthers 45,136 14 52,751 14 43,144 15
Los Angeles Kings 48,432 14 55,591 15 40,430 13
Minnesota Wild 44,273 13 42,860 11 50,805 19
Montreal Canadiens 39,327 17 39,174 13 33,224 16
Nashville Predators 39,810 15 39,534 11 42,379 13
New Jersey Devils 33,151 22 28,597 15 27,152 20
New York Islanders 29,933 18 32,410 13 28,210 20
New York Rangers 29,839 13 36,385 14 29,355 18
Ottawa Senators 34,850 16 33,915 17 32,157 16
Philadelphia Flyers 34,929 14 34,193 13 29,973 16
Phoenix Coyotes 52,633 12 49,192 13 53,843 16
Pittsburgh Penguins 37,061 17 33,439 15 28,948 17
San Jose Sharks 57,612 10 43,994 14 56,254 14
St. Louis Blues 39,328 13 38,781 17 41,473 17
Tampa Bay Lightning 43,102 12 43,717 10 40,522 17
Toronto Maple Leafs 35,975 16 32,239 17 33,470 14
Vancouver Canucks 48,510 17 46,826 11 51,213 11
Washington Capitals 36,250 17 37,969 13 32,401 15
Winnipeg Jets 46,477 10 44,627 13 44,079 15
Average 41,390 15 41,565 14 40,247 16

NOTE: The number of back-to-back games for the previous seasons was initially shown incorrectly here, the values have been updated on July 24th. - Dirk

In addition to the totals available here, there is more detailed information which I've published as a Google Spreadsheet, with game-by-game data which includes the distance traveled from one game to the next, along with team-level statistics for that night's opponent, to facilitate a very basic kind of strength-of-schedule analysis if you wish to perform one.

A few interesting tidbits from this year's data:

  • While the Sharks may be jet-setting across North America this season, at least they'll have the fewest sets of games on back-to-back nights (10), along with other major traveling teams Winnipeg & Colorado. In an interesting balancing act, most of the teams with a high amount of travel mileage benefit from having fewer back-to-backs.
  • The Detroit Red Wings should be thrilled with their move to the Eastern Conference, as they can look forward to the easiest schedule they've ever had in the six years I've been compiling this.
  • The cushiest schedule by far goes to the New York Rangers, who not only travel the least but also have very few (13) back-to-back sets of games. So quit your complaining, Larry Brooks, the Blueshirts actually traveled further in many previous seasons, thanks in part to those European openers in which the Rangers were regular participants.
  • While the new divisional alignment & schedule ensures that each team travels to every other NHL city, the average miles traveled by team is pretty much in line with the two previous full seasons. Again, there are no European openers this season, a minor factor reducing overall travel mileage.

Do you have your own questions, thoughts or analysis on the 2013-2014 Super Schedule? Share them in the comments below, or ask me on Twitter @Forechecker, using the hashtag #superschedule!

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