Historic 2021 NHL regular season will begin on Jan. 13


Sharks hockey is back. Well, almost.

The 2021 NHL season will begin Wednesday Jan. 13, 2021, the league announced Sunday. The 56-game season will run through May 8.

San Jose will play in the eight-team West division that also features the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights. A schedule of Sharks games has not been announced at this time. 

The Sharks last played on March 11 when they lost 6-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a rough ending to a disappointing season, as San Jose finished dead last in the Western Conference with a 29-36-5 record and, consequently, didn't qualify for the playoffs. 

This Sharks team will have a different look as franchise icon Joe Thornton signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency. But fellow Sharks legend Patrick Marleau signed a one-year contract in October for his third stint in San Jose. Bob Boughner returns as the Sharks' head coach after shedding his interim tag. 

RELATED: Sharks' Marleau gave Leafs' Marner lots of intel on Thornton

The 2019-20 season was the first time the Sharks missed the playoffs since 2014-15. After a long wait, they soon will start their path to the postseason once again.