Death, taxes and a Western Conference team traveling a bajillion miles in a season. These are the three certainties in life. Of course, due to the NHL's geography, teams in the west have to travel much further than those in the east. I mean, when cities like Chicago and Nashville are considered as part of the Western Conference, you know you'll have some flying to do.
And speaking of Nashville, the fine folks at On the Forecheck have compiled their annual Super Schedule with a breakdown of who is traveling the furthest in the NHL this upcoming season. If you want to dive in about as deep as you can into breaking down a schedule, they've also compiled a Google doc with a full breakdown for every team's schedule that includes distance traveled, time zones crossed, days since the last game and much more.
According to their calculations, the Canucks will travel 45,711 miles in the 2015-16 season, fifth-most in the NHL. Last season, the Canucks traveled 45,173 miles, sixth-most in the NHL. Vancouver will play 13 back-to-backs, one more than last year.
The Sharks will travel the most in the NHL, racking up an astounding 50,362 miles while the Red Wings will "only" travel 33,487 miles.
Here's how the Pacific Division breaks down when it comes to travel next season.
|San Jose Sharks||50,362||14|
|Los Angeles Kings||43,750||13|
Six of the NHL's top seven teams in distance traveled next season come from the Pacific Division. The exception being Arizona, who will travel over 3,000 fewer miles than the next closest team in the division. However, the Coyotes also have the most back-to-backs in the division at 15. Last season, the Coyotes traveled the furthest in the NHL at 49,818 miles. Maybe the league is taking pity on them for all their legal troubles with Glendale.
So what does this mean for the Canucks? Business as usual. Being tucked away in the northwest corner of the map, Vancouver is used to covering ground on the road. They're traveling just under 600 miles more than last season, but that's not bad when you consider the Flames will have to travel about 10,000 miles more than last year. You'll likely see Willie Desjardins try and split the ice time so no one gets overly fatigued over the course of the season as the miles rack up. Here's to hoping the Sharks, this year's Frequent Flier Award winners, are too exhausted to keep up when we play them this year.