From a business and an on-ice perspective, the general manager and head coach of the Battlefords North Stars is satisfied with the new schedule.
The 2016-17 season will begin with a home-and-home against the rival Kindersley Klippers on Sept. 16 and 17. The Stars will face the same opponent for the final two games of the regular season March 3 and 4.
"I think the most important aspect of scheduling is to ensure that you're tailoring to the needs of the organization from a revenue, resource-generating (standpoint) for fans to be able to come to hockey games," Kevin Hasselberg said, "Obviously those weekday games are a little bit of a challenge in that regard, but if you can form your schedule with a lot of Friday and Saturday home games and play some road games during the week, I think you're getting further ahead."
Hasselberg also said the weekend games give the team more time to prepare on the ice. Another plus for him is that there are no heavy swings between home games one month and away games the next.
The team will have an extended break at Christmas, from Dec. 19 to Jan. 5. Hasselberg said that's partly due to the calendar, and partly due to the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Canadian Open, which is being held at the Civic Centre Jan. 3 to 8.
"We're not scared of that," Hasselberg said. "I think it'll be good for our guys to have that extended break. We can push a little bit harder leading up to Christmas knowing we'll have that rest time, and then obviously come down the stretch refreshed and ready to go."
Hasselberg said making a league schedule that satisfies everyone takes some luck, but "a lot of preparation."
"We come more than prepared for that adventure they call scheduling, and it's a little chaotic at times," he said. "But when the dust settles and we walk away with a schedule, we couldn't be happier."
With files from Craig Beauchemin
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