While things never are official until they’re official, pieces are starting to fall into place for the 2021-22 NHL season.
After the COVID-19 pandemic shortened the two most recent campaigns, next season is expected to offer a full 82-game slate and get the league calendar back on track. No more late free agency or starts to the season.
According to NHL insider John Shannon, the start date for next season is trending towards being Oct. 12, with deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly telling Shannon on his podcast that the third week of July is when the full schedule likely will be released.
Shannon notes that right now teams are getting two different looks at their schedule, one that includes participation of NHL players in the Olympics and one that does not.
Historically, the NHL season has begun in the early days of October. But since the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season will run about a month later than usual, players on teams that make it to the final round all but certainly will appreciate getting a few extra days off.