It’s starting to feel normal again for the Vancouver Canucks.
On Thursday evening, the NHL released its schedule for the upcoming 2021-22 season, and it’s definitely (and thankfully) not the same as last year.
The league will be returning to an 82-game format, with the regular season kicking off in mid-October. Teams will also be returning to their previous division formats, with the only exception being the Arizona Coyotes, who are making the move to the Central Division. Their spot in the Pacific Division will be taken over by the Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s 32nd and newest team, officially marking the beginning of the league’s next-best geographical rivalry.
The Canucks will begin the 2021-22 campaign with a six-game road trip, starting with a visit to Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on October 13th. They’ll wrap up their road trip with a stop in Seattle on October 23rd to take part in the Kraken’s inaugural home-opener at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Canucks will travel down the I-5 only one more time after that, going head-to-head against the Kraken on New Year’s Day, while Seattle will have two pit-stops of their own at Rogers Arena on December 27th and April 26th.
Vancouver’s home-opener will take place on October 26th against the Minnesota Wild. This will be the first time that these two clubs will be meeting up since Vancouver beat Minnesota in the play-in round of the 2020 playoffs, and will also mark the return of former Director of Amateur Scouting Judd Brackett.
The Canucks will have ten back-to-back scenarios during the 2021-22 campaign, as well as two five-game road trips. On the flip side, the Canucks will also have two separate seven-game homestands, from October 26th to November 9th, and then from March 9th to 20th. The Canucks will be hosting both Stanley Cup finalists during the latter homestand, with Tampa Bay visiting on March 13th, and the Habs completing the cross-country trek four days earlier on March 9th.
Other important dates to be circled on the calendar are December 18th, when the Toronto Maple Leafs make their annual visit to Vancouver, as well as when the Calgary Flames come to town on February 24th. This will be the official return to a fully-crowded Rogers Arena for Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev, and will also be the first game back for the Canucks from the Olympic break, which is scheduled from February 7th to 22nd.
Four days after their match-up against the Flames, the Canucks will be travelling to New Jersey, which could very well end up being a Hughes brothers reunion. If that’s the case, we’ll have to wait and see which side Luke ends up joining.
The Canucks’ final game before the Olympic break will be February 1st in Nashville, with the NHL All-Star Weekend festivities set to take place in Las Vegas a few days later from February 4th to 5th.
The Canucks will conclude their season on April 29th at home against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Canucks will also be able participating in seven preseason games before puck-drop in mid-October. They’ll kick off the action against Seattle on September 26 at Spokane Veterans Memorial Centre, and will follow that up with six more contests. Their last preseason game will take place on October 9th against the Edmonton Oilers at home.
Exact timings will be announced at a later date. Fans will also have to wait a bit longer to purchase tickets.
Which game are you most excited for next season? Let us know in the comments!