The schedule for the upcoming NHL season leaves room for an Olympic break, but the league says no final decision has been made on whether athletes will play in the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

Journalists tour the Olympics Village for Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games, during a media tour in Zhangjiakou in northwestern China's Hebei province on July 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andy Wong

Journalists tour the Olympics Village for Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games, during a media tour in Zhangjiakou in northwestern China's Hebei province on July 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andy Wong

The schedule for the upcoming NHL season leaves room for an Olympic break, but the league says no final decision has been made on whether athletes will play in the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

The NHL announced Thursday that the 2021-22 campaign will kick off on Tuesday, Oct. 12 with the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The first Canadian matchup will see the Montreal Canadiens face the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Oct. 13. The Vancouver Canucks will visit the Edmonton Oilers the same night.

The NHL says in a statement it has agreed to pause play between Feb. 7 and 22, 2022, for the Olympics, but notes talks are ongoing between the NHL Players' Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation about whether athletes will compete in Beijing.

The league says if players don't participate in the Olympics, a revised schedule will be released.

The 2021-22 season will see teams play an 82-game schedule, up from the 56 games they saw in the pandemic-condensed 2020-21 season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2021.