How to Stream NHL Games from Anywhere in the World

Laptop on a table with ice skaters and hockey puck streaming hockey game
Short on time? Read this quick guide!
Quick Guide: How to Stream NHL Games from Anywhere in the World

The NHL 105th regular season starts on October 12, 2021, and ends on April 30, 2022. Then it’s time for playoffs, which start May 2nd and end June 30th, 2022.

If you’re in the United States and Canada, there are many streaming services available to watch your favorite team. However, if you’re in another country, you’ll need a VPN to help you access live stream websites (which are blocked for people outside of the U.S. and Canada).

Here’s how you use a VPN to watch NHL games online:

  1. Subscribe to a good VPN provider like ExpressVPN. If you want to test out the service, you can sign up for a free trial.
  2. Download and install your new VPN software.
  3. Open the app and sign in!
  4. Connect to a server that’s in the U.S. or Canada.
  5. Go to a streaming service website like ESPN, ABC, TNT, Hulu, or ESPN+.
  6. Enjoy watching NHL games online!

Want to know more about watching NHL online? How about watching the NHL for free, no matter where you are? Read our full article below!

Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and Canada — and the National Hockey League (NHL) is watched by many all over the globe.

The 2021-2022 regular season marks the 105th season for NHL. However, ice hockey fans outside the U.S. and Canada might have trouble streaming their favorite local NHL hockey games. Because of distribution rights, only viewers in the U.S. or Canada can watch an NHL live stream.

The good news: with a VPN, you can change your virtual location and live stream NHL games from anywhere in the world. No need to miss any more games! We detail the process below.

How to Stream NHL Games Online for Free

nhl playersIf you want to watch the NHL, you have three different options: you can watch on your favorite cable channel, subscribe to a streaming service, or use a VPN to watch NHL for free.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is an official NHL broadcaster in Canada, and it’s free to watch anything in its catalog as long as you have a Canadian IP address and an account on its website. But how do you get a Canadian IP address when you’re not in Canada?

A virtual private network (VPN) masks your real IP address and tricks websites into thinking you have a different IP address. So when you use a VPN while visiting the CBC website, the website will see a Canadian IP address — and it isn’t going to block you from accessing its content — even if you’re in France or Brazil.

How to Use a VPN to Watch NHL for Free

  1. Download and install a VPN. Not all VPNs can unblock geographically restricted content or maintain fast speeds while streaming. You can check out our reviews to find a provider that suits you, or go with our recommended ExpressVPN. It checks all the boxes for a fast and reliable VPN provider. It also comes with a 30-day free trial.
  2. ExpressVPN
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  3. Connect to a server in Canada once you’ve installed the VPN software on your device. You’ll automatically get a Canadian IP address.
  4. Sign up for an account at CBC Gem. The CBC Gem website may ask for a Canadian zip code, such as T3H, E5G, or V5N. You can also easily Google Canadian zip codes to find one you can use.
  5. Start watching! Every time you want to watch an NHL game, simply fire up your VPN app and go to the CBC Gem website.

Watch NHL: Streaming Services Offering Sports Channels

NHL games are available to stream on several paid platforms, and a few even offer free trials so you can test out their service. If you’ve cut the cable and want to watch hockey online, these platforms have you covered.

Note, however, that these streams will only work for users in the U.S. or Canada. If you’re in a different country, you’ll need to use a VPN.

Streaming Services that Offer Sports Channels

Streaming ServiceChannelsSubscriptionFree Trial
ESPN+ESPN$6.99/month or $69.99/year
fuboTVNBC, NBCSN, and CNBC$65/month
Hulu+ LiveNBC, NBCSN, and CNBC$65/month
SlingTVNBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NHL Network$25/month
Youtube TVNBC, NBCSN, and CNBC$65/month

The NHL had a 10-year contract with NBC sports up until this year. In April 2021, they signed a deal with ESPN, which was given exclusive distribution rights to the NHL’s double opener in October. Although ESPN+ doesn’t currently offer a free trial, it does have the cheapest service among all these streaming services.

Watch NHL: Cable Channels that Broadcast NHL Games

Most NHL games are available on regional sports networks, but there are nationally-televised games that you’ll need to catch on a cable channel instead.

If you want to watch your favorite hockey games on TV, check out this list of channels that broadcast the NHL depending on which country you’re in.

Channels that Broadcast the NHL

Broadcast PartnerCountry
ESPN, ESPN+, TNT, ABC, and HuluUnited States
Canal Sports+France and Spain
Viasat Hockey and Nelonen Pro sports channelSweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark
Premier Sports (UK) / Setanta 1 & Setanta IrelandUK and Ireland
Fox Sports Middle East and OSN SportsMiddle East
Sport 1, Sport 1 USGermany, Austria, Switzerland
Arena SportsSerbia, Croatia
Sky MexicoMexico
ESPN BrazilBrazil
ESPN, J-SportsJapan
CCTV-5China
ASNIndonesia, Thailand, Taiwan
Sky SportsNew Zealand
Fox SportsAustralia

Don’t see your country? Review the NHL’s full list of international broadcast partners.

Watch NHL Live Stream: Channels and Events

We compiled a list of channels in different countries where NHL fans can watch a live stream of hockey games, plus some important upcoming NHL events for the 2021/2022 season.

Upcoming NHL Events

EventDate
Regular Season StartOctober 12, 2021
Hockey Hall of Fame Induction WeekendNovember 12 to 15, 2021
NHL Winter ClassicJanuary 1, 2022
Honda NHL All-Star WeekendFebruary 4 to 5, 2022
NHL Stadium SeriesFebruary 26, 2022
NHL Heritage ClassicMarch 13, 2022
NHL Regular Season EndsApril 29, 2022
NHL Playoffs BeginMay 2, 2022
NHL Playoffs Last Possible DayJune 30, 2022
NHL DraftJuly 7 to 8, 2022

When Does the NHL 2021–2022 Season Start?

NHL logoThe 2021/2022 NHL regular season starts on October 12, 2021, at 7:30 pm ET. It’s a doubleheader, starting with Tampa Bay Lightning playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena. This is followed by the Seattle Kraken, who will face the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

Though no decision has been made about NHL player participation in the 2022 Bejing Olympics, a pause is tentatively scheduled from February 7 to 22, 2022 to accommodate the Olympics.

If the players do play in the 2022 Olympics, the NHL Regular Season will pick up on February 23rd, 2022. If there is no Olympic participation, then an updated regular season schedule will be released.

Prevent NHL Blackouts with a VPN

VPN Icon covering up IP addressesSometimes, you can’t watch a hockey game even though you’re in the U.S. and you have a subscription to a channel that broadcasts NHL games. This instance is called a blackout, and the issue has to do with local broadcasting rights.

There are instances where the rights to a certain game are in the hands of a local television station. This happens because they want to push you to watch the hockey game on the local channel instead.

A blackout can be very annoying — but, fortunately, it can be solved with a VPN. The only thing you need to do is connect to a VPN server outside the area of this local television channel and watch local games online with your subscription.

The NHL website has a blackout detector, which shows you if you will be the subject of a blackout.

The Best VPN Providers to Watch NHL Online

If you want to watch NHL live games with a VPN, you’ll want to pick a VPN that can handle your streaming activity. A good VPN needs to have fast, stable servers in the U.S and/or Canada, so you can watch without worrying about lags or buffering.

Your VPN provider also needs to have good security in place and be an all-around good VPN. Below you can see some recommended VPN providers for watching the NHL network.


1. ExpressVPN: Premium VPN for watching the NHL worry-free

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers available, providing fast server speeds, easy-to-use apps, and advanced security features.

With a single subscription, you get access to over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, including both the U.S. and Canada. On top of that, ExpressVPN has the highest possible encryption for all its subscription plans. Its software is also user-friendly and very easy to install, as covered by our full review. All this makes ExpressVPN a perfect VPN to watch the NHL.

If you’re looking for anonymity, ExpressVPN is one of the safest VPNs out there. Because it is based out of the British Virgin Islands (a nation with strict privacy regulations), ExpressVPN doesn’t have to retain any data or keep any user logs.

ExpressVPN
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Deal:
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  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
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ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This way you can test out their service by watching hockey online — and if it isn’t to your liking, then you can get your money back, no questions asked.


2. IPVanish: Fast VPN servers for streaming the NHL

IPVanish PNG Logo LargeIPVanish has possibly the fastest network of servers of all the VPN providers in the market. Their connections are always stable, and a large amount of its many servers is situated in the U.S. or Canada, making the VPN provider ideal for watching the NHL online.

IPVanish also has strong encryption methods, which will ensure your online safety and anonymity.

The downside of IPVanish is that it’s one of the pricier options on the market. In terms of privacy, IPVanish doesn’t have a great track record, as well. Though they claim they don’t keep user logs, they gave user info to American authorities in 2016.

IPVanish
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IPVanish does accept anonymous payment methods, but because of its history, we recommend using ExpressVPN. Don’t discount this VPN just yet, though. It’s a strong contender because of its server speeds. Check out our full review of the service here.


3. VyprVPN: Reliable server speeds for streaming NHL games

VyprVPN PNG Logo LargeFor watching your favorite NHL teams, we also recommend VyprVPN. This VPN provider offers fast connection speeds and more than enough servers in the U.S. Overall, VyprVPN is a safe provider that manages its own servers to protect your privacy.

Note that, with this VPN, your subscription can’t be completely anonymous because you have to create an account with your name, email, and bank details. Since there are no anonymous payment methods available (like cryptocurrency), if you’re looking for complete privacy, then you’ll want to consider a no-logs VPN instead.

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  • Special "Chameleon" technology to protect your data
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The good news is that VyprVPN is one of the cheaper VPN services out there and offers a 3-day money-back guarantee. Read our extensive review here.


Why Use a VPN?

Apart from bypassing geographical restrictions, VPNs also protect your privacy and anonymize your online activity. No hacker, government, or company can see what you do online or trace it back to you. Plus, with its unblocking capabilities, more websites become available to you.
Why use a VPN software infographicWhen you access the internet with a VPN, you connect to one of a server of your choice — and you can often pick a server in your own country or a different one. All your data traffic is rerouted through this server. Moreover, everything is encrypted so nobody can hack into what you are doing.

Because you connect to the internet through this external server, you take on the IP address of that server. Your own IP address will stay hidden, which anonymizes all your online actions.

Thus, with a VPN, you’ll be able to stream NHL live games online that are aired in another country. You can also use VPNs to watch your other favorite sports, including Formula 1, the UFC, the Olympics, College Football, and the FIFA World Cup. But you will also be completely anonymous when doing so — and nobody, not even your internet service provider, will be able to see what you are doing.

How to Stream NHL Games from Anywhere in the World: Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about streaming NHL games online this season? Read some of the most commonly asked questions and get your questions answered fast.

You can stream NHL games online on several platforms, such as ESPN+, YouTubeTV, and SlingTV. However, if you are outside of the United States or Canada, you’ll need a VPN to access NHL live streams. Here’s how:

  1. Get a subscription with a good VPN provider. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and then install the VPN software.
  3. Open the VPN and log in.
  4. From the VPN app, connect to the U.S. or Canadian server.
  5. Log into your preferred streaming service, like Hulu or ESPN+.
  6. Enjoy streaming your favorite NHL games!

The most straightforward way to watch hockey games for free is on your favorite cable channel. For online streaming, you can watch on fuboTV, Youtube TV, or Hulu+ Live — these streaming services offer free trials you can use to watch NHL for free.

We also detail a way to watch hockey games for free by using a VPN to access the Canadian Broadcasting Channel website. Read the full process here.

ESPN+ will have 1,000 out-of-market games during the regular season and 75 exclusive games during the regular season. There are 1,312 games scheduled (82 for each team) so while many of the regular season games will be available to stream, not all will be on ESPN+.

If you’re trying to watch your local team play, but you’re stuck in a blackout, you can use a VPN to get access to all the games you want to watch.

In March 2021, NHL announced a contract with ESPN that allows ESPN+ to stream 1,000 out-of-market games and 75 regular season exclusive games. This eliminated the need for NHL.tv, so it no longer exists. You can watch NHL games online on ESPN, ESPN+, ABC, TNT, TBS, and Hulu.

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