When Does Next Hockey Season Start? [Facts!]

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The calendar has turned to April and the hockey season is just around the corner. The playoffs have begun and the race is on to secure one of the final spots in the post-season. Unfortunately, the number of teams battling for the last few spots in the NHL is large which means there is plenty of competition and not enough room for everyone. This is the reason why we have the spring offseason and why the list of players available for trade is longer than ever.

The question is: when does the next NHL season start?

Well, the answer is somewhere between now and October. The league has announced the dates for the upcoming season and while some of them are hidden behind the scenes, others are pretty much out in the open. The playoffs begin in early April and will end in late June. The regular season will then continue until October, with each team playing 66 games.

Here is a look at the key dates for the next hockey season.

April 1:

The first game of the regular season will be on April 1. Depending on what day you ask, it will either be sunny or cold but sunny in St. Louis. The Blues will play the New York Rangers at 6:30 p.m. local time. The puck will drop at 7:00 and fans can then settle in for an action-packed game. The season will then continue with each team playing 18 games. Finally, the postseason will begin with the first rounds being played in the spring. The league has not yet announced which teams will be participating but rest assured, the teams in the Eastern Conference will be among them.

April 3:

On the day after the first game of the regular season, fans in Nashville will have the opportunity to celebrate the Predators’ first victory. The team will play host to the New Jersey Devils at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time, or 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This will be the first of 15 games for the Predators in 2019 and will be followed by an off-day before the team returns to the ice on April 4 for a game in St. Louis. After that game, the Predators will play home games until early June before the playoffs begin. Interestingly, Nashville will play 15 games in April, April 5 being a Sunday, while the following month sees only 12 games.

April 4:

The morning of April 4 will see the Nashville Predators play the St. Louis Blues at 12:00 noon Mountain Time, or 7:00 AM Eastern Time. This year will mark the 10th season of the Predators’ existence and in commemoration of this special occasion, the team will wear black jerseys with green trim for the game. Four days later, the New York Rangers will be in Nashville to take on the Predators. The Blues will be returning the favor, also playing the first of 12 games in April.

April 6:

On the day after the New York Rangers visit Nashville, the hockey world will pause to remember the hockey legend, Lemieux, who will be passing away. The Pittsburgh Penguins will wear black armbands during the hockey game against the New York Islanders to honor the late great. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time, or 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The following day, the Pittsburgh Penguins will play host to the Boston Bruins in a game that is now historical. Mario Lemieux will be participating in his first-ever Winter Classic, playing for the home team. The venue will be announced by the NHL at a later date. The last game for the Lemieux-Penguins organization will take place on April 13, with the fans paying full price to witness the end of an era.

April 8:

On the afternoon of April 8, fans in Pittsburgh will have the opportunity to celebrate as the Penguins will be playing their first game since Lemieux passed away. The ‘Legends Game’, as it has been dubbed, will see both Mario and Wayne Crosby line up against each other for one last hurrah. The game is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, or 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The following day, the Washington Capitals will be in town to take on the Penguins. Two of the greatest hockey players of all time will be on display for the fans, with many pundits picking this year’s match-up between these two teams to be the game of the year. Finally, the last game of the regular season will be played on April 13, with many fans travelling to Nashville for the game. The Predators will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of their franchise with a ‘Decade Series’, playing the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 10-game slate. The last nine games of the regular season will be played in Nashville. The regular season will end on a high, with the Predators posting the best record in the NHL for the decade. They will be hosting the 2019 NHL Draft on June 25th and 26th and looking to make the postseason for the ninth consecutive year.

April 9:

Not a hockey day, but an NHL Nano-second day. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be playing the Washington Capitals in a matinee at 12:00 noon Mountain Time, or 7:00 AM Eastern Time. The last game for the 2019 Stanley Cup Champion Capitals will be played on April 15, with the fans paying full price to witness the end of a memorable year. The following day, the Carolina Hurricanes will be in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. For the second straight season, the first game of the playoff will be played in Pittsburgh. It will be a day of mixed emotions, with many fans happy to see the end of the regular season while others will be craving more hockey.

April 10:

The day after the last game of the regular season, the Washington Capitals will be in town to play the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time, or 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Hurricanes’ existence and the team will be celebrating this momentous occasion with a series of games in the month of April. The last game of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs will be played on April 13, with the stadium and the puck-drop times to be announced later. This year will also mark the 30th Anniversary of the creation of the modern-day Capital City. The question is: will the hockey fans rise to the challenge?

April 11:

Two days after the last game of the regular season, the Carolina Hurricanes will be hosting the Washington Capitals in a matinee at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time, or 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Carolina Hurricanes, with the team and city looking to celebrate with a flourish. The last game of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs will be played on April 13. The venue for the game has not yet been announced but fans can expect to see some familiar faces in the stands, especially since tickets are on sale now.

April 13:

On the afternoon of April 13, fans in Nashville will have the opportunity to celebrate the Predators’ 10th anniversary. The team will be wearing special anniversary patches on their jerseys for the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. A ‘Decade Series’ will also be on display, as the Predators will be playing their last game of the decade and the very first game of the next. It will be a historical day, not just for the Predators but for hockey fans across the country. Tickets for the game are now on sale and the Predators will be looking to make the most of this historic day. The stadium and puck-drop time for the game have not yet been announced but fans can expect to see some special guests in the stands, especially since this will be the last game for the decade. The game will also mark the opening of the Nashville Predators Ice Center, a state-of-the-art practice rink and team hotel.

April 14:

Not a hockey day, but an important one for the NHL. The League Office has announced that the 2019 Stanley Cup Champion, New York Rangers, have been voted to protect their title by a majority of the voters. The team will be heading back to the ice for the start of the next season on April 14. On that note, the puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time, or 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Following the game, the team will have a party at their arena, with fans invited to attend. The question is: will the other teams take this lying down?

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