In easily the strangest season in NHL history, the Tampa Bay Lightning held up the Stanley Cup after knocking off the Dallas Stars in six games on September 29, 2020. Amazingly, the season began almost one year to the day on October 2, 2019, and despite a lengthy shutdown due to the pandemic, the league pulled off playing in a bubble flawlessly.
Believe it or not, players are ready to hit the ice in just a few weeks. Here are five things you need to know about the 2021 NHL season to help inform your television watching and online betting all year long.
NHL Key Dates in 2021
The NHL and NHLPA recently agreed on what the 2021 season will look like, which includes a start date of January 13 and the hopes of completing a 56-game schedule. Other key dates include:
- April 12 – Trade deadline
- May 8 – End of the regular season
- July 15 – Potential last game of playoffs
- July 21 – Expansion draft
- July 23-24 – NHL Draft
- July 28 – Start of free agency
Conference & Division Realignment
NHL conferences and divisions are drastically different this season to limit travel around the country and across the Canadian-United States border.
|Calgary Flames||Boston Bruins|
|Edmonton Oilers||Buffalo Sabres|
|Montreal Canadiens||New Jersey Devils|
|Ottawa Senators||New York Islanders|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||New York Rangers|
|Vancouver Canucks||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Winnipeg Jets||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Anaheim Ducks|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Arizona Coyotes|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Colorado Avalanche|
|Dallas Stars||Los Angeles Kings|
|Detroit Red Wings||Minnesota Wild|
|Florida Panthers||San Jose Sharks|
|Nashville Predators||St. Louis Blues|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Vegas Golden Knights|
Opening Night Games
The new season gets rocking with five matchups, including a hat trick of telecasts by NBC Sports.
|Penguins||2:30 PM PT||NBCS|
|Blackhawks||5:00 PM PT||NBCS|
|Blues||7:30 PM PT||NBCS|
What Are the Odds?
Let’s get to the fun stuff: NHL online betting. Here are the latest lines from Stanley Cup Champion odds to the MVP award as we prepare for the new season.
2021 NHL Stanley Cup Champion
Hart Memorial Trophy Winner (MVP)
Place NHL Wagers at BetMGM
Andy Coffaro is a sports journalist and managing editor with published work in USA Today, MSN, HERO Sports, The Mercury News, East Bay Times, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine, and more. He graduated from San José State University with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Sport Management. Follow him on Twitter @andycoffaro.