The NHL and NHL Players Association came to an agreement this weekend on their 2021 season dates, division parameters and other adjustments, which means that the pandemic-shortened, 56-game regular season will begin on Jan. 13, 2021.
This process begins with the opening of training camps and the NHL regular season as well as the divisional layouts. With the season beginning in just over three weeks, formal training camps will begin on Jan. 3. The seven teams that did not participate in the 2019–20 Return to Play will be permitted to open their training camps as early as Dec. 31. There will be no preseason games as teams get ready to jump into what will surely be a chaotic schedule.
The @NHLPA and @NHL have announced an agreement to play a 2020-21 regular-season schedule of 56 games beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. https://t.co/2on0oStnMd pic.twitter.com/aggYeVMjfj
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 20, 2020
To make traveling easier, the NHL temporarily restructured the divisions. Teams like Colorado, Minnesota and St. Louis head west while Columbus, Detroit and Tampa Bay move into the new Central Division. The new Canadian North Division, created to avoid teams having to cross the US/Canada border, is made up of Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
Teams will play each division foe eight times with the exception of the North Division, who will play each other either nine or 10 times. Playoffs will return to a more traditional format of 16 teams, with the top four in each division qualifying.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun laid out several key season dates including the Seattle Expansion Draft and NHL Entry Draft as well.
So, to recap:
Puck drop: Jan. 13
Trade deadline: April 12
End of reg season: May 8
Expansion draft: July 21
NHL draft: July 23-24
Free-agent Frenzy: July 28
July 29: LeBrun goes to cottage https://t.co/um2EkAIOc6
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 20, 2020
According to Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman, the there is a Dec. 24 opt-out deadline for non-playoff teams, and Dec. 27 for playoff teams. Group II RFAs must be signed by Feb. 11 to play this season. Players on one-year deals can extend on March 12. These are a few more details that Friedman laid out:
- Entry-level contract slide for rookies drops from 10 games to 7
- Training camps will include 36 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies
- No-movement clauses extended through July 28, which means that any player with one will have it through the expansion draft
#NHL/#NHLPA Agreement: 23-man roster with $81.5 million salary cap.
This includes creation of 4-6 man taxi squad. All 29 players (max) will travel and practice with NHL team. Taxi squad is paid full AHL salary. CBA has been expanded to include for more flexible emergency recalls
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 19, 2020
As far as the Seattle Kraken are concerned, the expansion draft will be July 21, 2021. Pick submissions and interview periods are as follows, according to <ahref=”https://twitter.com/reporterchris/status/1340693553215905793?s=20″>Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston:
Clarification: This applies to RFA’s and UFA’s left unprotected. Those players can be signed by Seattle before the July 21 expansion draft, which would then have them be designated the selection from their former club.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 20, 2020
Center Ice › Forums › NHL announces 2021 season plans
Share this article:
Share this article: