As we discussed during The Tinderbox Podcast on Monday, the NHL appears to be settling on a time frame to begin the 2021 season. Hockey clearly won’t be played before the New Year for obvious reasons, but the start date might not be too far behind.
It’s being reported today that the NHL and NHLPA are looking at a potential start date of January 13, 2021. This is all still up in the air, as there are other issues that the league and players association need to work out to make the season happen. One thing reportedly not in the way is the economic proposal the league made to the players recently, which did not sit well with the players.
Rumours had been circulating about a potential late January/early February start to the season, with teams playing anywhere from 50-60+ games in a shortened season. As of now, everything is clearly in the planning/development stages, so any and all developments should be taken with a grain of salt. One thing that really needs to be taken into consideration, as brought up by Gordie Taylor during our podcast yesterday, is how these players, teams and families logistically get to the hub cities and are quarantined properly in such a short amount of time.
There’s so much on the table to get the season started that a date, a little over a month from now, with the holiday season upon us, seems like an insurmountable hurdle. Though, there could be a lot going on behind the scenes that isn’t being shared that could make this time table feasible.
Ultimately, we all want hockey sooner than later and any news is good news on that front.
Update: Told a 56-game sched with a Wed., Jan 13, 2021 start date are part of this NHL season's plan. However, those details are tied to a other items still being discussed. There is still "no definitive timeline" on an announcement, but sides are working hard to get this done. https://t.co/qUthFQKsK9— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 8, 2020
The working agreement is the agreement the two sides announced in July. Still a lot of work to get done on this season, but the expectation is the NHL Board of Governors will approve. https://t.co/w9eARPI5Tk— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 8, 2020
Nothing finalized, however, focus in discussions related to NHL training camps has been on 10 day camps with no exhibition games. In the summer, RTP non playoff teams were hoping for a 7 day head-start to 20-21 training camps. 7 days is unlikely at this point.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 8, 2020