During NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s state of the league address today, ahead of game one of the Stanley Cup Finals, the league officially announced several events for the 2021-22 season.
First is the 2022 Winter Classic, which will feature the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild at Target Field, Minneapolis. The event will be held on January 1, 2022, a year after it was originally scheduled. The Wild were set to hold the 2021 Winter Classic, but it was eventually canceled due to the COVID restrictions present all season long. This is the second outdoor game for both organizations.
The 2022 Stadium Series is headed to Nashville, where the Predators will welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nissan Stadium. This will be the second outdoor game for the Predators, who took part in the 2020 Winter Classic against the Dallas Stars. For the Lightning, this will be the first outdoor game in the franchise history. The Carolina Hurricanes, who were supposed to hold the Stadium Series game in 2021, will not be involved next season but Bettman confirmed that the league will schedule an event in Raleigh at some point in the near future.
Perhaps most notable however is the 2022 All-Star Weekend, which is officially scheduled to take place in Las Vegas next year. The Vegas Golden Knights will host the league’s best players, though the actual dates have not been able to be announced yet. That’s because the league’s schedule isn’t confirmed yet and could still include an Olympic break, though deputy commissioner Bill Daly did explain today that “time is running short” on those negotiations. Bettman explained that if at all possible, they want to fulfill their promise to the players that they would go, but that there are serious concerns at this point over whether this is even “the most ideal Olympics to go to.”
Though not included in the official announcement, the 2022 NHL Entry Draft is expected to be held in Montreal, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The 2020 draft was originally scheduled to be held in Montreal but was eventually moved to a virtual setting. At the time, the league suggested that they would go back to the city as soon as possible, which now seems like it will be in 2022.