The 2021-22 season is almost around the corner after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup on July 7. During the first few weeks of the preseason, all the major dates begin to materialize. Unlike the previous two seasons, this year’s season will feature an Olympic break in the middle of it.
Everything we know about the upcoming NHL season is summarised here.
When Does the 2021-22 Nhl Season Start?
- NHL season start date: Tuesday, Oct. 12
- NHL season end date: Friday, April 29, 2022
The NHL returns to action on Oct. 12 with two games, 97 days after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row. The Golden Knights and the Kraken, two of the NHL’s newest franchises, meet in their inaugural regular-season game in Las Vegas as the opening act, while the Bolts take on the Penguins as the headliner.
How Many Games Will Be Played?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two seasons were shortened. However, the 2021-22 season is expected to be (hopefully) 82 games long.
How Will Games Work in 2021-22?
Last year’s schedule had a few unique twists, such as limited opponents and baseball-like series, which were introduced this year. Officially, those and division-only slates have been scratched off of the list.
In 2021-22, there will be a return to cross-country and West Coast or East Coast trips. This is wonderful news for fans who missed watching Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and other NHL players up close and personal last season since they will get to see them play every other NHL team over the next seven months.
What Are the Divisions?
This is how things used to be, so welcome back to the old ways. The North, the West, and the East are no longer. However, the Central Division has returned to its pre-existing teams. The conferences, Eastern and Western, are also making a comeback.
The Avalanche went against recent history and touched the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after winning the Western Conference with a sweep of the Oilers.https://t.co/s32E6MUM3o
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 7, 2022
To make place for the Kraken, who will play their home games in the Pacific, the Coyotes have relocated from the Central to the Pacific division for the 2020-21 season.
|Boston Bruins||Carolina Hurricanes||Arizona Coyotes||Anaheim Ducks|
|Buffalo Sabres||Columbus Blue Jackets||Chicago Blackhawks||Calgary Flames|
|Detroit Red Wings||New Jersey Devils||Colorado Avalanche||Edmonton Oilers|
|Florida Panthers||New York Islanders||Dallas Stars||Los Angeles Kings|
|Montreal Canadiens||New York Rangers||Minnesota Wild||San Jose Sharks|
|Ottawa Senators||Philadelphia Flyers||Nashville Predators||Seattle Kraken|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Pittsburgh Penguins||St. Louis Blues||Vancouver Canucks|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Washington Capitals||Winnipeg Jets||Vegas Golden Knights|
Will There Be a Winter Classic? An All-star Game?
Yes! 2021-22 will see a resurgence of the NHL All-Star Game and the Winter Classic.
- Date: Jan. 1, 2022
- Location: Target Field, Minneapolis
- Teams: Blues vs. Wild
- Date: Feb. 5
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
When Is the Olympic Break?
- Olympic break: Feb. 5-22, 2022
In 2022, NHL players will return to the Olympics. NFL players will be able to attend the Olympics after a deal was struck with IOC officials, the league said in a statement on September 3. Even if the pandemic is still going strong, for the time being, nothing has changed.
What Are Other Key Dates?
2021-22 trade deadline
- March 21 (3 p.m. ET)
2021-22 Stanley Cup playoffs
- Begin: May 2
- Last possible day of final: June 30
2021-22 free agency
- First buyout period: July 1-12 (5 p.m. ET)
- Free agency begins: on July 13 (noon ET)
2022 NHL Entry Draft
- First round: July 7
- Rounds 2-7: July 8
The 2022 NHL Entry Draft will be held in Montreal.