What Months Are Hockey Season

What Months Are Hockey Season?

Hockey season is like a big party that happens from October to April, and there are a bunch of cool things you should know about it:

Regular Season

The regular season kicks off in early October and goes on until early April. Teams play lots of games to earn points, and it’s kind of like a warm-up for the big playoff party.


The playoff party usually starts in April and can last until early June. The best teams from each group battle it out in elimination rounds until they reach the grand finale—the Stanley Cup Finals—where the ultimate champion is crowned.

International Competitions

Besides the local fun, there are also global adventures like the Winter Olympics or the IIHF World Championship that spice things up during the hockey season. Teams from different countries get in on the action, making it a real international party.

Also Read: When Does Hockey Season Start? A Complete Guide


Before the regular season officially starts, there’s a preseason. Think of it as the appetizer before the main course. It kicks off in September and features exhibition games. Teams use this time to try out new moves, show off their rookies, and figure out who’s going to be on the team.


The chill time, or, as they call it, the off-season, happens during the summer months, usually from May to September. Players take a break to recharge and get ready for the next season. Meanwhile, teams are like busy bees—they trade players, sign new ones, and pick some fresh talent in the NHL Entry Draft. It’s like a backstage party where they’re getting everything ready for the next big show.

Read More: How Long is a Lightning Hockey Game?

FAQs Regarding the Hockey Season

Here are frequently asked questions regarding the hockey season:

  1. Q: What time of year does this timeline cover?
    • A: This timeline mainly focuses on the period from October to April, which is the main playing season for the National Hockey League (NHL), the top professional hockey league in North America. Keep in mind that other professional leagues, such as the American Hockey League (AHL) or European leagues, might have slightly different schedules.
  2. Q: Are there breaks in the regular hockey season?
    • A: Yes, there are usually breaks during the regular season to make room for special events like the NHL All-Star Game or to give players some time off. These breaks can vary from year to year but generally last for a few days.
  3. Q: Can the playoff schedule happen at the same time as the regular season?
    • A: No, the NHL ensures a clear separation between the regular season and the playoffs. The regular season concludes before the playoffs start to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
  4. Q: Can external things affect the hockey season?
    • A: Absolutely, external factors like labor disputes or unexpected events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can impact the hockey season’s schedule. In these situations, the league may adjust the length of the season or postpone games.
  5. Q: Do youth and amateur hockey seasons follow the same schedule as professional hockey?
    • A: Youth and amateur hockey seasons may have different schedules, varying by region and level of play. They are usually organized separately from professional leagues and depend on factors like available ice time and local regulations.
  6. Q: Can I watch preseason games?
    • A: Certainly! Teams hold preseason games that are typically open to the public. These games offer fans a chance to see their favorite players in action before the regular season kicks off.
  7. Q: How can I find out about specific team schedules and game times?
    • A: To stay updated on schedules, game times, and any changes throughout the season, you can visit the NHL’s official website and team-specific websites. Additionally, official team social media accounts are a reliable source of information.
  8. Q: Can the regular season be affected by weather conditions?
    • A: While rare, extreme weather conditions can potentially impact the regular season schedule. Snowstorms or other severe weather events may lead to game postponements or rescheduling for the safety of players and fans. Keep an eye on official announcements and updates from the league during such situations.
  9. Q: Are there any special traditions or events during the hockey season?
    • A: Absolutely! The hockey season is filled with exciting traditions and special events. For instance, some teams host theme nights where fans can enjoy a unique game experience. Additionally, outdoor games, like the Winter Classic, add a thrilling twist to the regular season schedule.
  10. Q: How do teams prepare for the upcoming season?
    • A: Teams go through an extensive preseason preparation period. This includes training camps, exhibition games, and strategic planning to ensure players are in top form for the regular season. Fans often look forward to seeing how new acquisitions and rookies perform during this time.
  11. Q: Can the playoff format change from year to year?
    • A: Yes, the NHL occasionally reviews and adjusts the playoff format to keep the competition dynamic and engaging. Changes may include alterations to the number of teams making the playoffs or adjustments in seeding rules. These modifications are typically announced well in advance.
  12. Q: Is there a minimum age requirement for players in the NHL?
    • A: Yes, players must be at least 18 years old to participate in the NHL draft. This age restriction ensures that athletes are physically and mentally prepared for the demands of professional hockey. It also provides them with an opportunity to further develop their skills before entering the league.
  13. Q: Can teams make trades during the season?
    • A: Yes, teams have the flexibility to make trades during the season, allowing them to strengthen their rosters or address specific needs. Trade deadlines, however, exist to ensure fairness and competitiveness, restricting certain transactions as the season progresses.
  14. Q: How does the league handle player injuries during the season?
    • A: Injuries are a part of the game, and the league has established protocols for handling player injuries. Teams are required to provide regular updates on injured players, including the nature of the injury and an estimated timeline for their return. This transparency helps fans stay informed about their favorite players’ conditions.
  15. Q: Can I attend team practices to see how players train?
    • A: While team practices are generally not open to the public, some teams may organize special events like open practices or fan appreciation days. These occasions offer fans a behind-the-scenes look at how players train and prepare for games, creating a unique and interactive experience.

The hockey season usually happens from October to April, including both the regular season and playoffs in professional leagues like the NHL. Before the season starts, there are practice games in September, and there’s a break, called the off-season, from May to September. To get the most accurate info about game schedules and times, it’s important to stay in the loop with official sources.

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