The NHL has announced start times for the 2021-22 season, with an opening-night doubleheader featuring the defending champions and the league’s two newest teams squaring off.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will raise the Stanley Cup banner at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 12, before taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 p.m. ET.
That’s followed by the debut of the league’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, who are on the road to take on its 31st, the Vegas Golden Knights, at 10 p.m. ET.
There are five Canadian teams in action the following night, with Montreal visiting Toronto, Vancouver at Edmonton and Winnipeg in Anaheim to face the Ducks — a game that’s been moved up by a day.
The Ottawa Senators start their season on Thursday, Oct. 14, when they host the Maple Leafs. Calgary is the last Canadian team to get started, welcoming the Oilers for an early Battle of Alberta on Saturday, Oct. 16.
The NHL schedule for this season includes a two-week break in February for the Beijing Olympics, but the league says talks are still ongoing on whether players will participate in the Games.
“Subject to reaching agreement with the NHL Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation on all outstanding issues, including appropriate COVID-19 insurance for NHL Players, the League has agreed … to pause from Feb. 7-22, 2022,” the league said in a statement Friday.
“The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association will retain full authority to decide not to participate should COVID-19 conditions worsen or otherwise pose a threat to the health and safety of NHL players, or for any other reason that may warrant such decision.”
The league said if players do not participate in Beijing, a revised schedule will be released.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2021.
The Canadian Press