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According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the NHL is hoping that the 2021-22 season will start on Tuesday, October 12. Training camps would open on Wednesday, September 22 in that case.
The start date of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs has yet to be determined as the NHL has to make up games after the regular season was scheduled to end on Saturday, May 8 due to the risk of COVID-19. After the NHL announced schedule changes within the West Division on Wednesday, the regular season is scheduled to end on Wednesday, May 19.
The Stanley Cup is expected to be awarded in July.
The NHL arranged this season with the hope of a normal 2021-22 campaign, which would start a week later than normal if it starts on October 12.
Next season will be the inaugural season of the Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd franchise.
It is expected that the NHL will return to last season’s division realignment after the league had to realign the divisions for this season only due to the border closure between the United States and Canada and it will not be an obstacle come October. It is expected that each team will play 82 games.
The only change in the divisional alignment will be the Kraken coming into the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Central.
LeBrun also noted that the plan is still to have NHL players participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China as long as a deal can be reached with the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation.
The 2021 NHL Draft, which is scheduled to take place on July 23 and 24, will occur virtually for a second straight year.
The NHL on the GMs’ call today shared its hopeful target date for puck drop next fall: Oct. 12.
Which is about a week or so later than normal.
Training camps hopefully opening Sept. 22.
Again, that Oct. 12 start date is if there are no delays. @TSNHockey @TheAthletic
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 21, 2021
By Harrison Brown