Hawks to open title defense in Denver

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will begin their defense of their Stanley Cup championship on the road, the NHL announced on Monday. The Hawks open the 2010-11 season on Thursday, Oct. 7 in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Hawks' home opener will come Saturday, Oct. 9 against the Detroit Red Wings, which is likely when they will raise their Stanley Cup banner at the United Center.

The Blackhawks will be the opponent for the Columbus Blue Jackets' home opener on Friday, Oct. 15.

Only the home openers were announced Monday. The NHL will release the rest of the 2010-11 schedule Tuesday at 11 a.m.