It feels like yesterday that we were watching Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and the rest of the Avalanche lift the Stanley Cup to conclude the 2021-22 NHL season.
Believe it or not, the next season is fast approaching. We are exactly six weeks away from the start of the 2022-23 campaign.
The offseason has had its fair share of big storylines. Shane Wright fell to No. 4 at the NHL Draft, Johnny Gaudreau shocked the hockey world by signing with the Blue Jackets, the Senators pulled off a trade for Alex DeBrincat, and much, much more.
The NHL is taking its talents overseas again to kick-start the new season; the first games on the schedule are part of the NHL Global Series. The Sharks and Predators will play two contests in Prague, Czech Republic.
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Here is what you need to know about the start of the 2022-23 NHL season.
When does the 2022-23 NHL season start?
- Date: Friday, Oct. 7
- Game: Sharks vs. Predators
- Puck drop: 2 p.m. ET
The opening game of the 2022-23 NHL season will be in Europe. The league is kicking off the campaign with its Global Series. This year, the series is being played in Prague, Czech Republic, at the O2 Arena. The Sharks and the Predators will play a back-to-back on Oct. 7 and 8.
The North American opening night will be Tuesday, Oct. 11, with a doubleheader of Lightning vs. Rangers and Golden Knights vs. Kings.
NHL schedule for first week of 2022-23 season
Friday, Oct. 7
|Predators vs. Sharks||2 p.m.|
Saturday, Oct. 8
|Sharks vs. Predators||2 p.m.|
Tuesday, Oct. 11
|Rangers vs. Lightning||7:30 p.m.|
|Kings vs. Golden Knights||10 p.m.|
Wednesday, Oct. 12
|Hurricanes vs. Blue Jackets||7 p.m.|
|Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs||7 p.m.|
|Capitals vs. Bruins||7 p.m.|
|Avalanche vs. Blackhawks||9:30 p.m.|
|Ducks vs. Kraken||10 p.m.|
|Oilers vs. Canucks||10 p.m.|
Thursday, Oct. 13
|Sabres vs. Senators||7 p.m.|
|Flyers vs. Devils||7 p.m.|
|Penguins vs. Coyotes||7 p.m.|
|Islanders vs. Panthers||7:30 p.m.|
|Maple Leafs vs. Capitals||7:30 p.m.|
|Wild vs. Rangers||8 p.m.|
|Predators vs. Stars||8 p.m.|
|Flames vs. Avalanche||9:30 p.m.|
|Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks||10 p.m.|
|Kings vs. Kraken||10:30 p.m.|
Friday, Oct. 14
|Blue Jacket vs. Lightning||7 p.m.|
|Red Wings vs. Canadiens||7:30 p.m.|
|Jets vs. Rangers||8 p.m.|
|Sharks vs. Hurricanes||10:30 p.m.|
Saturday, Oct. 15
|Sabres vs. Panthers||1 p.m.|
|Flyers vs. Canucks||4 p.m.|
|Bruins vs. Coyotes||7 p.m.|
|Devils vs. Red Wings||7 p.m.|
|Penguins vs. Lightning||7 p.m.|
|Maple Leafs vs. Senators||7 p.m.|
|Capitals vs. Canadiens||7 p.m.|
|Islanders vs. Ducks||7:30 p.m.|
|Stars vs. Predators||8 p.m.|
|Wild vs. Kings||8 p.m.|
|Blues vs. Blue Jackets||8 p.m.|
|Oilers vs. Flames||10 p.m.|
|Kraken vs. Golden Knights||10 p.m.|
|Sharks vs, Blackhawks||10:30 p.m.|
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COVID-19 and the start of the NHL season
The NHL and NHLPA announced changes to the COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming season.
Per the new protocols, teams are allowed to suspend unvaccinated players who are unable to participate in team activities because of their vaccination status. Teams may force players to forfeit pay in those circumstances. If a vaccinated player tests positive, they may continue to be paid even if they cannot participate in team activities.
If a player shows COVID-19 symptoms, they must take a rapid test and quarantine until the results come in. If the first test is negative, then the player must test daily for three days.
If a player tests positive, as long as they are asymptomatic, they can exit isolation within the first five days once they have two consecutive negative test results. Players who are symptomatic and in quarantine between six and nine days can exit isolation with one negative test result as long as it comes more than 24 hours after their last fever. Once someone exits quarantine in less than 10 days, they must wear a mask until it has been 10 days since the positive test.
Organizations are required to disclose all positive COVID-19 cases to the media. Commissioner Gary Bettman can still postpone, delay or move training camp or a portion of the NHL season if the league or NHLPA believes continuing the season “would create or exacerbate a material risk to players’ or others’ health and safety and/or jeopardize the integrity of the competition anticipated during the 2022-23 season.”