2020-21 NHL Season To Start Dec. 1, Key Dates Announced

2020-21 NHL Season To Start Dec. 1, Key Dates Announced

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2020-21 NHL Season To Start Dec. 1, Key Dates Announced

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The Stanley Cup will be awarded on October 2nd at the latest, according to reports. TSN’s Frank Seravalli tweeted out a number of key dates for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, off-season and 2020-21 season on Wednesday night.

Among those tweets is the news that the 2020 Stanley Cup Final will begin on September 20th, likely in Edmonton.

Teams are currently slated to open training camp on July 10th, according to the Memorandum of Understanding between the NHL and NHLPA. Reports have indicated that camps will not open, however, until July 13th. The NHLPA has opened voting on the ‘MOU’ to their player base, which does not conclude until Friday.

Other dates include travel to the hubs, which is listed as July 24th on the ‘MOU’. A July 13th camp likely means that gets pushed back to the previously reported date of July 26th.

Per the ‘MOU’, the exhibition slate will start on July 25th. Each team will play one exhibition game in their respective hub city. For the Western Conference, that will be Edmonton.

The Qualification Round, per the ‘MOU’, starts on Thursday, July 30th. That could shift to August 1st, however.

Here is the full list of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff dates on the ‘MOU’, per Seravalli.

The insider did mention that these dates are NOT final, and could be shifted back a few days. With camp likely not opening until the 13th, sources indicate that will in fact be the case.

Off-Season Madness:

October 6th is the tentative date for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The expectation is that it will follow the NFL’s model, which saw the draft go virtual for the first time ever due to COVID-19.

Free agency, per Seravalli, will take place on either October 9th or exactly seven days following the conclussion of the Stanley Cup Final. The later of the two dates will be the date that free agency opens on. That means October 9th is the earliest possible date for free agency.

It was previously believed that ‘Free Agent Frenzy’ would not take place until November 1st.

The big reason for the move? The NHL is hoping to open training camp for the 2020-21 season on November 17th, just over a month after free agency opens up. The league is also looking to open the 2020-21 season on Tuesday, December 1st.

The goal has been, and remains, to play a full 82-game season. That means the 2021 Stanley Cup Final is likely to be pushed into July.

As Seravalli mentioned, everything is subject to change. More to come as it happens.

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