The NHL has not announced a start date for the 2020-21 season, but the league has set dates for some key offseason events. The league announced on Friday the 2020 NHL Draft will take place on October 6th and 7th, and free agency will open on October 9th.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs have reached the conference finals. The Dallas Stars lead the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 and an if necessary Game 7 is scheduled for September 18th. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the New York Islanders 2-0 and an if necessary Game 7 is scheduled for September 19th. The finals would likely start no more than a couple days after that. With an every other day schedule, the finals by the first week of October at the latest.
The 2020-21 season had been scheduled to start on October 4th, but the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the schedule. The league will have a compressed offseason, but even with that, the earliest the 2020-21 season would start is December 1st.