An 82-game schedule full with inter-division and inter-conference video games is again.
The NHL introduced its plans for the 2021-22 common season Thursday, and the brand new regular is a return to the previous regular.
Groups have returned to the conferences and divisions they performed in previous to the 2020-21 season Covid-19-shortened season, aside from Arizona transferring to the Central Division to accommodate growth Seattle’s inaugural season within the Pacific Division.
Gone are the two-game units the place a workforce would keep in a single metropolis for a pair additional days. Additionally gone is a lot of the February 2022 schedule as a result of the NHL has scheduled an Olympic break from Feb. 7-22, even because the league awaits an settlement with the NHLPA and the IIHF on participation within the Video games (to not point out the league retains the precise to ban Olympic participation if there are considerations about Covid-19).
With the NHL Draft and free company nonetheless to come back this month, and three months earlier than the primary puck is dropped on the brand new season, right here’s a take a look at some video games to circle in your calendar for the pre-Olympic portion of the schedule:
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay
Seattle at Vegas
After signing a seven-year rights deal price a reported $2.8 billion, ESPN is again in enterprise with the NHL and the sports activities mega-network kicks issues off proper. First the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions will elevate their banner and tackle Sidney Crosby and the earlier workforce to repeat as Cup champs.
Then the Kraken make their debut in a battle of the NHL’s two most up-to-date growth franchises.
New York Rangers at Washington
Chicago at Colorado
The NHL and Turner Broadcasting got here to phrases on the league’s ‘B’ package deal within the spring, and TNT will make its hockey debut with a doubleheader, together with a Metropolitan Division battle between the Rangers and Capitals (excellent for brand spanking new lead play-by-play voice Kenny Albert).
Vancouver at Seattle
After beginning the season with a five-game street journey, the Kraken will lastly debut at residence. It’s been a very long time coming for the NHL’s latest workforce, and the opponent couldn’t be higher, because the NHL will attempt to get the regional rivalry going with the Canucks.
Vegas at Colorado
The Golden Knights knocked the Presidents’ Trophy winners out of the final season’s playoffs within the second spherical. These determine to nonetheless be two of the perfect groups within the league (possibly even the perfect two) and though they’re not division rivals, Colorado and Vegas will nonetheless have some dangerous blood to settle.
Tampa Bay at Montreal
Stanley Cup finalists turned Atlantic Division rivals will go at it for the primary time because the Lightning destroyed the Canadiens in 5 video games for the Cup.
Seattle at Calgary
Barring a commerce, longtime Flames captain Mark Giordano will return to Calgary for the primary time in one other sweater. Don’t be shocked if the defenseman is carrying the C for the Kraken by then.
St. Louis at Minnesota
The 2022 Winter Traditional will take the sport again outside at Goal Discipline, residence of MLB’s Minnesota Twins. This yr’s outside recreation may have an much more festive environment as a result of the Traditional is again after a one-year Covid-caused hiatus, and one of many largest crowds to assemble because the pandemic started will likely be readily available to cheer on the hometown Wild.
New York Rangers at Vegas
He’ll have confronted his previous workforce a month earlier on Broadway, however on this night time Rangers coach Gerard Gallant returns to The Strip to tackle his previous workforce and attempt to show the Golden Knights’ choice to point out him the gate after simply two-plus seasons was a mistake.