NHL sets dates for Draft and free agency period

The NHL’s schedule finally begins to take shape.

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In case you missed it yesterday, TSN hockey insider Frank Seravalli dished on some important dates on the calendar for the NHL in its Return to Play plan. The puck will officially drop on Saturday, August 1st for the “play in round” and the Stanley Cup will be awarded no later than October 2nd. 

As for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and the free agent period, Seravalli reports that the draft will fall on Tuesday, October 6th with the opening of free agency to follow immediately after.

Check it out:

Also, tentative date for 2020  NHL Draft is Oct. 6. It must follow the end of the Stanley Cup Final and precede the free agent signing period.

So, if the Cup is handed out October 2nd, the Draft is October 6th and free agency opens October 7th, that’s going to be one Hell of a busy week for NHL general managers. They might actually earn their pay checks for once…

Additionally, Seravalli reports that the 2020-21 NHL season will tentatively start on December 1st, with training camps opening two weeks earlier on November 17th.

Check it out:

Tentative dates listed in NHL and NHLPA Memorandum of Understanding:
Later of Oct. 9 or 7 days after Cup Final ends is opening of  #FreeAgentFrenzy
 Nov. 17: Opening of training camps for 2020-21
 Dec. 1: Opening of 2020-21 regular season
All subject to change.

Am I crazy or does this seems absolutely insane? The Stanley Cup finalists will have just six weeks to rest before having to report to training camp for the 2020-21 season. Typically, they'd have roughly three months to rest, recover and get ready for the grind. There were reports earlier this summer that the NHL was targeting January 1st, 2021 for the opening of the season, but that seems to have been moved up a month for some reason. 

In any case, here's hoping we can have a relatively normal season, at least as it pertains to the schedule, in 2021-22. In fact, you can GUARANTEE that the NHL is Hell bent on having a normal schedule for the 2021-22 arrival of the expansion Seattle franchise.