When Does The Hockey Preseason Start? [Expert Review!]

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The preseason is the time of year when fans and hockey enthusiasts wait eagerly for the return of the sport. It’s an exciting time, as we get to see all the new products and technology first-hand, as well as meet all the players and coaches. The anticipation is certainly built as we get closer to the start of the regular season, but when exactly does the preseason begin? Let’s take a quick look at the NHL schedule to find out!

NHL Regular Season Begins October 5th

The 2017-18 NHL season begins on Wednesday, October 5th and runs through to Sunday, April 9th, with a total of 82 games. The regular season is made up of six weeks of games, with three days of rest over the weekend. If you want to follow the NHL, then you’ll need to make sure you’re keeping up with all the games, as there are typically several conflicts with other sports. Since the season is split into regular season and playoffs, the games don’t end until mid-April, so make sure you’re prepared for more hockey!

Exhibitions Start October 7th

In addition to the regular season, the NHL also has a preseason consisting of about a week and a half of exhibition games. The preseason starts on Monday, October 7th and runs through to Thursday, October 18th, with the regular season resuming on Friday, October 19th. Like the regular season, the exhibition season is also split into a regular season and playoffs, with the latter stretching into mid-April. One of the benefits of the preseason is that teams get to work on their skating and stick-handling before the puck even drops during the regular season. This makes the transition to the pros easier, especially as the season wears on and players get more comfortable playing in the NHL. As a result, coaches and players sometimes get to know each other better and rely on each other more, creating a more cohesive unit on and off the ice. In other words, it’s a great chance for fans to get to know the players and learn who they are, not just on the ice but also outside of it!

NHL Playoffs Begin April 9th

The postseason starts on Friday, April 9th and runs through to Thursday, April 14th, with a potential for 14 games. The top eight teams in each conference make it to the playoffs, with the conference champions going on to win the Stanley Cup. Like the other two seasons, the playoffs are also split into a regular season and a postseason, with the latter getting extended to mid-April. The postseason is where things get exciting, as the top teams in the league go head-to-head in a tournament-like format, with the winners heading to the Stanley Cup Final!

World Cup Of Hockey Begins October 10th

The next major event on the hockey calendar is the World Cup of Hockey, which will run from October 10th to 24th. Unlike the NHL and its 82-game regular season, the World Cup is an international event, so the schedule will look a little different. The tournament will feature eight teams, with the reigning champions playing in a pre-tournament exhibition game on Tuesday, October 10th. The remaining seven teams will play a total of 12 games, with two games a day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. If you’re a hockey fan and want to follow the World Cup, then take a quick look at the FIFA calendar, as many of the games will clash with another sport’s season.

Minor Leagues Start Mid-October & Continue Through Winter

Though the NHL season is typically over by the time the playoffs start in April, the minor leagues don’t shut down just because the big league season ends. In fact, the minor leagues continue through the winter, with most teams either playing in the postseason or preparing for it. The St. Louis Blues will be playing in the playoffs this coming winter, as they finished second in the Central Division this past season. You can expect to see the Blues as well as other teams in the Central and Western divisions playing some seriously good hockey this coming winter.

As for the AHL, the league’s playoffs begin in March and continue through the summer, with the champions playing in the Stanley Cup Final. Last but not least, the ECHL playoffs begin in late April and continue through the summer as well. While the regular season for the ECHL is only about a month, the playoffs are often longer and start in April, so keep that in mind if you’re following the game during those late hockey season months. In other words, there’s a lot of hockey to follow this coming winter!

With all the information above, now you know when the hockey season starts and when it ends. Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back here often as we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the happenings in the hockey world.

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