The 2020–21 NHL season is scheduled to start on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the regular season has been reduced to 56 games. However, there’s still plenty of action for you to watch online, and you can do so without cable. Traveling abroad may mean you encounter geo-blocking due to copyright and licensing restrictions. Furthermore, NHL blackouts may mean you can’t watch some games even if you’re in the US or Canada. However, you can bypass such issues with the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
We’re only recommending official sources for watching the NHL. While there will be unlicensed streams, it can be a challenge to find them. Even if you do, they’re likely to be of poor quality with low-resolution video and excessive lag. Some will even be taken offline by the copyright holder. By sticking with the official sources listed, you can be sure of the highest quality streams without any of the performance issues or security risks.
If you want to watch NHL games online while traveling abroad, you’ll need a VPN. This allows you to access region-locked content and continue watching via your favorite home streaming services.
How to watch NHL games live online with a VPN
A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it to a server in your preferred location. For example, you can live stream NHL games online by connecting to a server in the US, since this gets you an American IP address and tricks services into thinking you’re in the US.
Here’s how you can live stream NHL games abroad using a VPN:
- Sign up with a reputable VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN although Surfshark and ExpressVPN are reliable and affordable alternatives worth considering.
- Download and install one of the VPN apps (or browser extensions). This should be for the device on which you plan to watch NHL games live online.
- Log in to the VPN app and connect to a server in the country of the TV platform or streaming service you’re planning to use. This may be in the US, for example.
- Now you can navigate to the website or service in question. All of its content should now be unblocked and available to watch in your location.
- Still having trouble? Try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Another option is to connect to another server in case your current IP address has been blacklisted.
2020–21 NHL games will air live. It’s for this reason that we encourage you to test your VPN with your chosen platform in advance. That way, you’ll have time to get in touch with your VPN’s customer support if you need any further guidance.
How to watch all NHL games online (without cable) on US TV
NBC Sports holds the US broadcasting rights although its 10-year contract expires upon the conclusion of the 2020–21 season. If you have a US cable TV subscription, it may be that you already have NBC Sports. This would only require signing in to NBC Sports via the website or app. You’d simply enter your TV provider credentials (this is usually an email address or username and a password).
The good news is that it’s also possible to watch NBC Sports online without cable. You can do this by signing up with the following TV streaming services: AT&T TV Now ($55 USD/month), FuboTV ($54.99/month), Hulu with Live TV ($64.99/month), Sling TV ($30/month), and YouTube TV ($64.99).
Fortunately, there are a few other streaming options available in the US. In particular, there’s the NHL Network. This is available as an optional add-on with FuboTV ($10.99 per month) and Sling TV ($10/month). Another option is NHL.TV which is the league’s streaming service. A Single Team Pass is typically priced at $115.99 or $144.99 for its All Access Pass.
All of the above options are region-locked and only available in the US. However, you can bypass the geographic restrictions by connecting to a US-based VPN server and getting a US IP address. NordVPN has strong unblocking and nearly 2,000 US servers in over a dozen cities. Better still, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. As such, you can try it out risk-free. If you decide it’s not for you, you can request a refund for your money back.
Where else can I watch NHL games online without cable?
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many options for watching NHL games online in Canada cable-free. The current rightsholder is Rogers Communications and, if you have a cable TV subscription, you can live stream games via Rogers NHL Live. However, Hockey Night in Canada continues to air on CBC. To watch online for free, simply access the CBC Sports app. The only issue with this is that only select games are made available.
Any streaming options in Canada will be subject to geographic restrictions. This means you’ll need to connect to a VPN server in Canada and have a Canadian IP address to watch their content from abroad.
To watch NHL games online in the UK, you’ll need to sign up with Premier Sports. It shows 15 games per week which you can watch online via Premier Player. This costs £9.99 a month while there’s also a 12 month subscription option that works out cheaper long-term at £99 annually. Note that Premier Sports is only available in the UK. By connecting to a UK server, you can get a UK IP address and stream its content from anywhere.
There aren’t too many options for watching NHL games online in Australia. Your best bet is to sign up with a service that receives broadcasts via ESPN. Note that this will only provide you with access to a handful of games per season. If this is still of interest, it’s worth taking a look at Foxtel Now ($25 AUD/month + $29/month extra for Sports pack) and Kayo Sports ($25/month). If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need an Australian IP address to watch their content online. You can get one by connecting to a VPN server in any Australian city.
How can I bypass NHL blackouts?
While we often recommend VPNs for accessing geo-restricted content while traveling abroad, you may find that you need one even if you’re already in the US or Canada. That’s because NHL blackouts often mean that you’re unable to watch some games from within your region. However, connecting to a server in another state allows to bypass the blackouts and watch the games without restriction.
What should I know about the 2020–21 NHL season?
The 2020–21 NHL season was originally scheduled to start in October 2020 and end in April 2021. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means it’s now due to run from January until July 2021. Some of the changes we can expect include new divisions and a new schedule format. In particular, the regular season has been reduced to 56 games. However, the league hopes to return to the typical 82-game format for 2021-22.
Travel restrictions have resulted in the decision to place all seven Canadian teams in the same division. Under this season’s temporary realignment, teams will only play against other teams in their division. There’ll be a 16-team playoff (the top four from each division) with the Stanley Cup tentatively scheduled to be awarded in July. With regard to fan attendance, each arena will be subject to local health orders.
What are the new divisions in 2020-21?
|Calgary Flames||Boston Bruins||Carolina Hurricanes||Anaheim Ducks|
|Edmonton Oilers||Buffalo Sabres||Chicago Blackhawks||Arizona Coyotes|
|Montreal Canadiens||New Jersey Devils||Columbus Blue Jackets||Colorado Avalanche|
|Ottawa Senators||New York Islanders||Dallas Stars||Los Angeles Kings|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||New York Rangers||Detroit Red Wings||Minnesota Wild|
|Vancouver Canucks||Philadelphia Flyers||Florida Panthers||San Jose Sharks|
|Winnipeg Jets||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||St. Louis Blues|
|Washington Capitals||Tampa Bay Lightning||Vegas Golden Knights|
Who is the favorite to win the 2020-21 NHL season?
According to the latest Stanley Cup title odds, Colorado Avalanche are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup come the end of the 2020-21 season. However, Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Boston Bruins are all expected to be in the mix come playoff time.