How many Games are in an NHL Season? | Regular Season, Playoffs, Exhibition, and more!

How many Games are in an NHL Season

Globally, hockey is one of the most watched sports. Many hockey games are held throughout the year. Fans are consulted regarding the number of games played at the NHL season’s start, middle, and end.

How many games are in an NHL season? Every year the NHL season starts in October and ends in April. During this season, each team plays 82 games, out of which 41 are home-based, while others are played internationally. Each team plays 7 or 8 exhibition games and playoffs with 16 other teams to be qualified for the Stanley Cup.

Let’s take a closer look at what the NHL season is like in terms of games played.

How many total Games are in the NHL Regular Season?

How many total Games are in the NHL Regular Season

The NHL regular season starts in October and ends in April. There are 32 teams in the NHL, and each team plays 82 games, so during the regular season, 1312 games are played. In October, the NHL Global Series started, and NHL announced that Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks would begin with two games.

Breakdown of NHL Regular Season

The breakdown of the NHL regular season schedule is as follows:

  1. Three games play against the other team in the Conference, a total of 24 games.
  2. Three to Four games against teams in its division, a total of 26 games.
  3. And two games against the teams in the opposing Conference, a total of 32 games.

How many Games are Played at Home in a Season?

Since 1995-96 a total number of 41 home-based games have been played by the team. The number of games increases if we add the playoffs, preseason, and an overall number of home games. The number of home-based games is fixed, as the teams can play un even home and preseason games.

How many Games in an ECHL Season?

ECHL will play 1,008 games in 2022-23, which begins on October 21, 2022, and ends on April 16, 2023. The 2022-23 season begins with eight games played on October 21, 13 games on October 22, and six games on October 23.

How many Games in an ECHL Season

In 1988-89 ECHL began with only five teams in only four states but now has extended to 28 teams in 20 states.

How many Games in a High School Hockey Season?

The regular season begins in September, and 20 games are played other than practice matches and playoffs in which the team qualifies for the City Champion.

How many Games in a College Hockey Season?

About 34 games are being played in the regular season by college hockey. The team also plays practice matches and post and preseason tournaments excepted from these 34 games.

How many Games are in the Playoffs?

In the playoffs, the team can play 4 to 28 games, which helps select the team that will play in the next or is part of the seasonal games. If a team wins 4 out of 7 games, they will qualify for the next round. At the same time, the players who lose the four games are not allowed to be part of the next competition.

How many Games are in the Playoffs

In each round, a team can play seven games and should win four by every means, a total of 28 games, to be a part of the competition.

Games Played in the Exhibition Season

The teams also play exhibition games during the season. These games could be more exciting, but they are beneficial for players as they are prepared for seasonal competitions and help the coaching staff train the new players, evaluate them, and select the better rookies, draft picks, and players from an affiliate team.

Games Played in the Exhibition Season

The team plays about 7 or 8 exhibition games during a season. These games are held between the teams that are physically nearby. One benefit of these games is that the NHL enjoys the revenue caused by these teams.

Games Played by Season since the Expansion Era (1967- Present)

After 1968 teams were allowed to play matches between 48-84 in a season. Before this, teams must follow the calendar and play 82 games.

Games Played by Season since the Expansion Era (1967- Present)

During Lockdown, 48 games were played in a season, while due to COVID-19, they played 58 matches in the 2020-21 season.

The below table shows the number of games played during different seasons.

SeasonsGames PlayedNote
1994-95*48NHL Lockout Year
2004-05*0Lockout – Season Canceled
2012-13*48NHL Lockout Year
2019-20*68-71COVID (Reminder of Regular Season Canceled)
2020-21*56COVID (Late Season Start – Games Reduced)

Seventy-four games were played in seasons other than 1994-95, 2004-05, 2012-13, 2019-20, and 2020-21.

Only 48 games are played in the NHL lockout-shortened 1994–95 season. The 2002–2005 season was canceled due to the NHL lockout, and they played only 48 games. In 2012–13 due to the NHL lockout, 68 games were played in 2019–20, and played 56 matches in 2020–21 due to COVID. In the 2021–22 season, 82 games are played.

Did NHL Teams always Play 82 Games?

NHL teams sometimes play a different number of games in a season. Factors such as wars, lockouts, and pandemics affect the number of games played in seasons. The longest game played during a season was 84; it happens in two seasons.

Did NHL Teams always Play 82 Games

The table below shows the number of games played during the regular seasons.

Regular SeasonGames Played

Frequently Asked Questions

Did the NHL team always play the same number of games?

Eighty-two games are played by each team in every season, 41 each at home and another 41 on the road. The number of games decreases; if there is any lockout by NHL, war, or pandemic.

How long is an NHL season?

It is almost six months long, and it begins in April and ends in October, during which each team has to play a total of 82 games.

What is the format of the regular season?

A total of 56 games are being played in the regular season. Teams in the east, west, and Central divisions play eight games with the teams in the other division.
However, teams in the North have to play nine or ten games with the teams in the other division.


In conclusion, a team must play 82 games per season to qualify for the Stanley Cup. The number of games could be increased if the Olympics or any other championship occurs.

The Winners enjoy their win with their team, family, and friends, while the runner-up will be disheartened. They have to wait till the start of the new season and work harder for the next time.

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  3. What are the Coach’s challenges in the NHL?
  4. How does a Goalie get a win in Hockey?
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