Vancouver Canucks among five Canadian NHL teams set to open shortened regular season Saturday

CANADIAN PRESS

Vancouver Canucks goaltenders Roberto Luongo, who is the subject of trade rumours (right), and Cory Schneider are seen during training camp at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Five Canadian teams will be on the ice when the lockout-shortened NHL season starts next Saturday.

The Winnipeg Jets host the Ottawa Senators in one of three afternoon games, that also include the Chicago Blackhawks visiting the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

The Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens in the evening, while the Vancouver Canucks open the season at home to Anaheim.

On Jan. 20, the Calgary Flames host San Jose in their season debut, and the Edmonton Oilers kick off their 48-game schedule with a game in Vancouver.

The teams will play only inside their own conference in the regular season, wiping out any possibility of a Cup rematch between the Kings and New Jersey Devils.

A total of 13 games are set for Day 1 of the regular season that ends April 27. The playoffs start April 30, and hockey’s last day will be June 28 if the Cup final goes seven games.

The NHL released the schedule shortly after the league and players’ association signed a memorandum of understanding that finalized the new labour deal agreed to last weekend and ended the 119-day lockout.

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