NHL Schedule

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Getting into the NHL Schedule

Brief Introduction to the NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a North American professional ice hockey league with 32 clubs, 25 in the United States and seven in Canada. It is regarded as the world’s best professional ice hockey league. At the end of each season, the Stanley Cup, North America’s oldest professional sports trophy, is presented to the league playoff champion. 


The NHL was created on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal, following the suspension of operations of its predecessor, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which was founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario. 


Before a series of league mergers and foldings left the NHL as the only league left fighting for the Stanley Cup in 1926, the NHL immediately assumed the NHA’s position as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition. 

History of NHL schedule

A preseason, a regular season, and a postseason make up the National Hockey League season. In July, teams normally have a summer showcase for prospects, and in September, they compete in prospect tournaments, which are complete games with no veterans. In mid-to-late September, full training camps begin, with a preseason comprising of six to eight exhibition games. During the preseason, split squad games, in which different elements of a team’s regular season roster play separate games on the same day, are occasionally played. 


Clubs play each other on a set schedule throughout the regular season. Since 2021, all clubs have played 82 games in the regular season: Playing 26 games in their own geographic division—four games against five of their seven other divisional opponents, plus three games against two others; 24 games against the eight remaining non-divisional intra-conference opponents—three games against every team in its conference’s other division; and 32 games against every team in the other conference twice—home and road.


The regular season standings in the league are based on a point system. A win is worth two points, a defeat in overtime or a shootout is worth one point, and a loss in regulation is worth zero points. The club with the most points in each division at the end of the regular season is proclaimed division champion, while the league’s overall leader is given the Presidents’ Trophy. 


The Stanley Cup playoffs, which run from April to early June, are an elimination event in which two NHL teams compete to win a best-of-seven series and progress to the next round. The Stanley Cup is awarded to the last team standing.


Upcoming Games & Full Calendar

Main Events on NHL Schedule

The Stanley Cup playoffs are an NHL elimination competition that consists of four best-of-seven rounds to determine the league champion and Stanley Cup winner. Based on regular season point totals, eight clubs from each of the two conferences qualify for the playoffs. The Stanley Cup Finals, which pits the two conference winners against each other, is the final round. 


The Stanley Cup is North America’s oldest professional sports trophy, going back more than two decades before the NHL was founded. As a result, the NHL is the only major professional sports league in North America to refer to its playoffs by the name of its championship trophy. 


The trophy, which was originally known as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, was presented in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston, then-Governor General of Canada, as a “challenge trophy” for Canada’s greatest amateur ice hockey team. From 1893, when the inaugural Cup was presented, through 1914, the Cup was retained by the champions until they either lost their league championship to another club, or until a champion from another league made a formal challenge and defeated the existing Cup champion in a final game to claim their victory. 


The NHL has always decided its champion through a playoff tournament. From the NHL’s establishment in 1917 to when it took over the Cup in 1926 to the present configuration, the league’s playoff system has evolved throughout time.

NHL Main Venues

The Bell Centre has a maximum capacity of 21,302 people and is the home of the Montreal Canadiens. It first opened its doors in March 1996, and it has since hosted the 2009 NHL All-Star Game and the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens have yet to deliver a Stanley Cup Final to this location. 


The decades-old facility received a series of modifications beginning in 2015, including new eateries, the replacement of the arena’s seats, and the addition of Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, this was not enough to keep the Bell Centre’s previous year’s sales levels, with Canadiens games regularly selling out.


On August 18, 1994, the United Center, the second-largest arena on our list, opened its doors to the public. It was built to fill the void left by the destroyed Chicago Stadium in 1995. The Blackhawks and the Bulls split ownership of the arena 50/50, with the two clubs upgrading the center on various occasions throughout the years.


In 2010, 2013, and 2015, the facility held three Stanley Cup Finals. The Blackhawks have won all three Stanley Cup finals they’ve played in, but only the 2015 Stanley Cup was won at home.

After Covid-19 Details

COVID-19 happened in the middle of the 2019-20 NHL season. The league stopped their regular season and then had the playoffs for the season later in the year. They ran the Stanley Cup in September which gave the teams an opportunity to compete for a title. They had some struggles in the next year as well as a lot of games were postponed or moved but they did end up completing the entire season.

NHL Schedule FAQs

The Stanley Cup playoffs.

They compete for the Stanley Cup trophy.

The playoffs run from April to early June.

The NHL was created in 1917.

82 games are played in the regular season.

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