The NHL offseason has officially begun and the planning for 2012-13 is already underway. The Capitals announced their preseason schedule on Tuesday. They will play seven games total, three at Verizon Center and another nearby at Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena.

Washington hosts the Boston Bruins on Sept. 25 – the team it eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs – and meet the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second annual Baltimore Hockey Classic on Sept. 26. After three road games at the Detroit Red Wings (Sept. 30), Columbus (Oct. 1) and Boston (Oct. 3) they return home to face the Nashville Predators (Oct. 5) and the Red Wings again (Oct. 7).

All of this, of course, is predicated on the NHL opening its season on time. The current collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Association expires on Sept. 15. Training camps won’t open at all without a new CBA in place.

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