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2020-21 NHL Season FAQs

Get all the information you need about the upcoming NHL season

Key Dates

Dec. 31: Training camps open for seven Clubs that did not participate in the resumption of play for the 2019-20 season (Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa, San Jose)

Jan. 3: Training camps open for the remaining 24 teams

Jan. 13: 2020-21 regular season begins

April 12: Trade deadline (3 p.m. ET)

May 8: Last day of regular season

More info

*May 11: Stanley Cup Playoffs begin

*July 9: Last possible day of Stanley Cup Final

*subject to adjustment

More info

July 23: Round 1 of NHL Draft

July 24: Rounds 2-7 of NHL Draft

July 28: Restricted Free Agent/Unrestricted Free Agent signing period begins (12 p.m. ET)

Temporary Realignment

The top four teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs.

The first two rounds of the playoffs will be intradivisional, with the first-place team facing the fourth-place team and the second-place team playing the third-place team in the first round. 

The four teams that advance to the Semifinal Round will be seeded by their point total in the regular season, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 4 seed in one series and the No. 2 seed facing the No. 3 seed in the other.

Season Format

The regular season will be 56 games with exclusively intradivision play.

Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times, and each team in the North Division will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times.

There will be no preseason.

The tentative plan is for teams to play games in their home arenas with the understanding that most arenas will not be permitted to admit fans, at least initially.

For the official rulebook, click here


For the complete 2020-21 NHL schedule, click here


The 2021 Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend and Stadium Series have been postponed.

More info on events

Yes. The Seattle Kraken are still scheduled to hit the ice for the 2021-22 NHL season.

The Expansion Draft is scheduled for July 21 at 8 p.m. ET.

More info on the Kraken

Safety Protocols

For a complete look at the 2020-21 NHL season COVID-19 protocols, click here

For a complete look at the NHL's positive test protcol, click here

For a complete look at the club travel protocol, click here

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