After months of deliberations, proposals, and ironing out details, the NHL is finally making significant strides toward returning to play. Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported the key dates for the 2021 season this morning:
While there is still no official schedule in place, NHL regular-season action is set to resume on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. The league is still working to determine the best course of action for scheduling while navigating COVID-19 guidelines in the various locations where NHL teams are based.
The trade deadline is set for Monday, April 12th. The regular season, which will likely be a 56-game slate according to a flurry of recent developments, will conclude on Sunday, May 8th.
The league still plans to award the Stanley Cup in late June-early July, so its offseason activities begin in mid-July with the expansion draft on Wednesday, July 21st. The 2021 NHL Entry Draft will highlight the weekend of July 23-24. Free agency will open a few days after on Wednesday, July 28th.
There are still more logistics to work out before the puck drops, but having these key dates in place is a major step in the right direction for the NHL's return.