What Will The 2020-21 NHL Season Look Like? The Latest

As of now, training camp for the 2020-21 season is set to begin in early November with regular season games beginning on December 1. Fortunately for Capitals fans that’s not far off in the grand scheme of things. But what will next season actually look like? Here’s what we know as of right now.

The NHL has been steadfast in saying that the 2020-21 season will have a full 82-game schedule. The reasoning is predominantly financial in nature. The season will be compressed with no All-Star break and will likely end in July of next summer.

Unfortunately, it looks like the season will at least begin with no fans in the stands. How long that goes is still an unknown. Eventually the league will likely phase-in fans, starting with a low percentage of capacity, say 15-20%. Local restrictions with regards to large gatherings will drive this.

The bubble approach may be gone. Teams will most likely return to traveling for away games, a big leap versus the bubble operations implemented for the 2020 Playoffs. However, there is late indication that the league is looking at potentially expanding bubble scheme.

Maybe the greatest indicator to watch is Major League Baseball and the National Football Leagues. Both are operating or will operate without a protective bubble, and are/will be traveling to opposing teams stadiums to play games. Keep an eye on those leagues, as they will probably foretell what next season will look like for the NHL.

As mentioned in a post from yesterday, the salary cap will remain at $81.5 million for the 2020-2021 season.

Key Dates (Tentative)
Dates provided by the NHL are current, but general, and may shift a day or two in either direction. All dates are subject to change.

9/20 – Stanley Cup Final begins

10/4 – Stanley Cup awarded

10/6 – NHL Entry Draft

11/1 – Free agency opens

11/17 – Training camp begins

12/1 – 2020-21 season begins

A lot can change between now and December 1. Stay tuned.

By Jon Sorensen

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to What Will The 2020-21 NHL Season Look Like? The Latest

  1. JayMan says:

    Never left a comment here but I’d like to see what the AHL used to do and the MLB does. Play games in a series (example: three games at home v. a team.) You can put days between them but that way the team is in the same city and it limits travel.)

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      First, greetings JayMan, you are always welcome. I think your series idea makes perfect sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see tweaks like that at both the NHL and AHL level.

  2. Marky says:

    Thanks Jon for posting this tentative schedule. Has Todd been fired yet? LOL🙂

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