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What we know so far about next year and important dates for the 2020-2021 NHL Season

It’s mid-October and usually the NHL would be kicking up into their regular season in a normal year. However, everything is thrown off and different this year, leading to wonder when the next season will start.

The Winter Classic is currently set for January 1, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota between the Minnesota Wild and St Louis Blues.

Wild to host 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Target Field

Could this be the opening game of the 2020-21 NHL Season if everything works out in favor to the league for a January 1st start date?

This is of course one of many questions both NHL fans and league personnel are seeking to get more clarity on as the off-season continues.


The target start date for the NHL season next year had been moved back from December 1st to January 1st. Though this date is in no way final, it does show the growing momentum that hockey in December might have been too wishful thinking after all.

The Carolina Hurricanes are supposed to host an outdoor game at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium on Feb. 20, 2021 and have yet to name their opponent. This is still do-able and it’s most likely their opponent would be a team within their division near by to simplify matters.

2021 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series | Carolina Hurricanes

The NHL All-Star Game is currently set for January 30, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. However it’s hard to see it taking place with the season potentially starting just weeks prior.

2021 Honda NHL All-Star | A1 VIP Events

The NHL can’t stretch into the fall again like it did in 2020, because the NHL’s broadcast partner, NBC, is the Olympic network. The 2021 Tokyo Olympics, pushed back from 2020, are now scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021. There won’t be any room or appetite for hockey after this point, so any NHL season is going to have to have resolution by then.

Then of course there’s also the closing of the Canadian border and rumors that an all Canadian division will be formed to help somewhat solve this dilemma.

Just one of many possibilities for how the 2020-21 NHL Season divisions may look like.

So how will the NHL move forward? The only thing that is known is that basically nothing is known at this time.


Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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