3:55PM: The NHL has announced that the 2021 season will be 56-games that will begin on January 13th and end on May 8.
Training camp is expected to begin on January 3rd and will not include any preseason games.
The Rangers will play in a division that includes the Islanders, Devils, Flyers, Penguins, Capitals, Sabres and Bruins.
The Rangers will play eight times each against the teams in their division and the top-four teams in each division will make the playoffs.
Teams are expected to play in their own buildings.
Other important dates include (LeBrun):
- Trade Deadline: 4/12
- Seattle Expansion Draft: 7/21
- 2021 NHL Draft: 7/23-7/24
- Free Agency: 7/28
Teams will carry between 4 and 6 “taxi squad” members, including one goalie. (CapFriendly)
The NHL is aiming for the 2021-22 season to follow the traditional NHL calendar.
Nearly all of Rangers have returned to the New York area.
Adam Rotter: What has long been expected is now official and the Rangers will be returning just after the calendar flips. It’s a shortened season and the playoffs will be very tough for the Rangers as they look toe battle five teams (Boston, Isles, Pens, Caps, Philly) that didn’t need the return to play format to make the playoffs. The Rangers will certainly have a new look, and I’m not talking about the Reverse Retro jerseys, with Alexis Lafreniere but without Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal and Jesper Fast. This team is still a work in progress with some of the young players (Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox, Lindgren, Lafreniere) here, others that could join this season (K’Andre Miller, Libor Hajek, Vitali Kravtsov, Morgan Barron) and still others (Nils Lundkvist, Zac Jones, Braden Schneider and others) still a little down the road. What the Rangers do have, that will surely help a team that is in transition, is certainty in goal with a solid duo of Igor Shesterkin and Alex Georgiev. Those two should keep the Rangers in, and steal, games for a defense that, defensively, could still leave a lot to be desired. Artemi Panarin and MIka Zibanejad seem like sure things to produce, but the Rangers need the Jacob Trouba that was better after the trade deadline to be that player from the start.
There are still a ton of questions that need to be answered: Who will Trouba play with? Where will Lafreniere play? Will Chris Kreider shift to RW, to allow Alexis Lafreniere into the top six? Can Filip Chytil play well enough to allow the Rangers to move on from Ryan Strome? Where does Julien Gauthier fit with the RWs? Which young forwards will make the team? Will Libor Hajek establish himself as a full-time NHLer? Will the Rangers name a captain and who will fill the leadership void left by Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal and Jesper Fast? We will get answers to some of these questions shortly after the Rangers begin training camp, but others will still be up in the air when the Rangers begin their season, possibly in an Original Six matchup against Boston, that opens the 2021 season.