2020 NHL Season Restart: Blackhawks opponents, schedule, format and odds


The Chicago Blackhawks are a part of the NHL's Return To Play Program after being in 12th place in the Western Conference at the time of the NHL Pause on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will play in an exhibiton game in one of the league's two hub cities and compete in the qualifying round to advance to Round One of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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When does the NHL restart begin?

Beginning July 28, each of the 24 teams competing in the postseason tournament will play one exhibition game.

The official 24-team postseason tournament begins on Aug. 1.

What teams are the Blackhawks playing?

The Blackhawks will take on the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in an exhibition game before starting the tournament by facing the Edmonton Oilers — No. 5 in the West at the time of the pause — in a best-of-five play-in series with the winner advancing to Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The top 12 teams in each conference will compete in the tournament with the bottom eight in each playing in the qualifying round and the top four playing in a round-robin for seeding.

Where will the games be played?

Two hub cities were chosen for the NHL restart: Edmonton and Toronto. All of the Blackhawks' games will be played in Edmonton. 

Edmonton's Rogers Place arena will host the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final in addition to the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, Round Robin, and the first two rounds of the playoffs for the Western Conference.


Scotiabank Arena in Toronto will host the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, Round Robin, and the first two rounds of the playoffs for the Eastern Conference.

2020 Blackhawks Restart schedule

The Blackhawks will play the exhibition game against the Blues on July 29 at 5:30 p.m. CT. The Hawks will later face the Oilers for the play-in series with Game 1 on Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. CT. The rest of Chicago's qualifing round schedule is as follows:

Game 2 — Aug. 3 at 9:30 p.m. CT
Game 3 — Aug. 5 at 9:30 p.m. CT
Game 4 — Aug. 7 (TBD)*
Game 5 — Aug. 8 (TBD)*

Related: Where to watch the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Qualifier, exhibition game

Updated odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorites to win the trophy at +550, then the Boston Bruins and the Vegas Golden Knights, both at +600.

The Blackhawks' odds are +4000 to win it all and their play-in series opponent, the Oilers', are +3000.

The Montreal Canadiens have the worst odds at +10000.