How Long Is A Period In Nhl Hockey? [Ultimate Guide!]

Spread the love

The National Hockey League (NHL) season has finished, which means that the puck has now been dropped on the 2018-19 campaign. But just when you thought the hockey season was over, the officials have yet to catch their breath, as the trade and free agent frenzy has just begun. But where does the time go? Is a season really only four months long? In this article, we will discuss some key things to keep in mind, as you navigate the new NHL season.

Period = Seasons In Nhl Hockey

Periods, or seasons, in hockey are different from those in other sports, as they don’t refer to an event at which the game is played. A period in hockey is simply when the clock is turned over, and play continues for another forty minutes. The time between periods is known as intermission or break. So, while the season is traditionally referred to as consisting of twenty-six weeks of games, it more accurately consists of only four months and ten days of actual playing time. From the moment the puck is dropped until the end of the season, the games gradually become less frequent until only a few remain at the end.

The reason for this is that when the season begins, teams play a few games per week, usually on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. But as the season progresses and players join and leave the team, the games become fewer and farther between until, at the end, there is only the Stanley Cup Final. So, while the regular season might last for twenty-six weeks, it feels more like twenty-six months. Or at least, it feels that way to those of us who have to fill out the season’s schedule, which we’ll explain in a minute.

Adjusting To The New NHL

With the NHL changing hands and new franchises taking the ice, there have been many cultural adjustments that fans of the old guard have had to make. For example, early in the offseason, the St. Louis Blues signed Maxim Lapierre to a three-year contract extension, despite the fact that he primarily played center during his first season in the NHL. Since the position has changed since his playing days, the six-foot-four, 220-pound forward had to learn how to play the wing.

Now, the reason for this is that when the season begins and as teams are shuffled around until finally only a few remain, there will be many players out of position. So, the Blues were either forced to play Lapierre at center, or they had to find a roster spot for him. Regardless, it was a bold move and, ultimately, a good one for the franchise.

Another example of a cultural shift that needed to be made involved the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the offseason, Dion Phaneuf was signed to a seven-year, $7 million contract, which some fans and media members considered a reach.

Since the position of forward and defense have changed, leaving Phaneuf off-axis, the Maple Leafs were required to acquire more skilled and experienced players to help him fit in. In return, they received a 2018 first-round pick and a 2020 third-round pick. For a team that was previously defined by its physicality, Phaneuf’s absence has created a void that Toronto will have to find a way to fill. Fortunately for the organization, they have plenty of high-profile forwards and Defensemen to choose from, including Johnny Gaudreau, Tyler Bozak, and Connor Brown, all of whom signed for less than the seven-year, $7 million contract that was agreed upon with Phaneuf.

Key Points To Keep In Mind

Now that you’re probably wondering, “Is a season really only four months long in hockey?”, it’s time to remind you of a few key points:

  • In theory, a season in hockey lasts for twenty-six weeks. However, there is no fixed schedule for games, as they are usually played on different nights and some weeks might even have only a few games, while others could have almost a full schedule of games.
  • Play generally begins in the fall and continues until the end of the following spring. But as we’ve seen in recent years, the NHL year is constantly shifting, as teams will play a few preseason games, then go on hiatus, only to return in the spring and play a few more games before the end of the season. This means that even if you make it to the end of the season, you might not have played the maximum number of games.
  • Teams might play four, five, or even six seasons in one. So while it might feel like you’re playing only four or five games per week at the beginning of the season, that can quickly change. And if you do make it to the end of the season, you might realize that you’ve played more often than that.

With the season now officially underway, it’s time to remind you of a few things. First, make sure you know the rules of the game. Second, follow the team that you support, as they will be the key to your enjoyment of the sport. And finally, keep in mind that the next season is just around the corner, so don’t get too comfortable with the status quo.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!