There has been an expectation that the NHL would look to have an abbreviated offseason this summer in an effort to try to get back to more of a normal calendar for the 2021-22 campaign. It appears that this is indeed the case as Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that general managers were told in today’s meeting that October 12th has been set as the target start date for next season.
That would be only about a week later than the normal start date which would allow them to get back to more of a regular schedule. Doing so also would allow them to hold close to a full-length training camp with LeBrun noting that the target date for those is September 22nd assuming there are no further delays to the schedule (or anything happen over the summer to change those plans).
At the beginning of this season, the plan was to hold the Entry Draft on July 23rd and 24th with free agency starting up on the 28th. Considering the regular season schedule has been pushed back a couple of times since then, it’s uncertain if those will remain intact or get pushed back slightly. Either way, with already less than a two-month gap between the original start to free agency and the desired start of training camps, it should be a quicker-paced offseason than it was last year.