It's never too early to start talking about hockey. And today, the Albany Devils gave me a reason to get excited about the 2011-12 AHL season.

The Devils have a pretty deep list of opponents including 3 teams from the Western Conference.  I know a lot of you aren’t that into to hockey, but this schedule is impressive.

The Devils, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, will play 38 home and 38 away games and will participate in the newly created Northeast Division.  The Devils will do battle with the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies.

Notably, the Devils will take on the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Toronto Marlies for the first time in team history. Also, the Time Warner Cable Cup resumes with a 10-game series against the Adirondack Phantoms.

The Devils home opener will be played on Saturday, Oct. 8 and the remainder of the AHL schedule is due out in August. For ticket information please call (518) 4-DEVILS or visit thealbanydevils.com.

Below is the list of Devils opponents for the upcoming season.

Eastern Conference

Northeast Division

Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)

Connecticut Whale (NYR)

Springfield Falcons (CLB)

Atlantic Division

Manchester Monarchs (LA)

Providence Bruins (BOS)

Worcester Sharks (SJ)

East Division

Binghamton Senators (OTT)

Hershey Bears (WAS)

Norfolk Admirals (TB)

Syracuse Crunch (ANA)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Western Conference

North Division

Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)

Rochester Americans (BUF)

Toronto Marlies (TOR)