I wish I could say that plans are running fast and furious between the NHL and NHLPA. At this point they seem to be on the same, or at least similar page, when it comes to planning when the season could start and about how many games will be played.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli broke news on Friday that the two sides have agreement on the some non-economic aspects of the upcoming season.
Difficult to say definitively ‘progress’ has been made, given the outstanding economic issues and skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers. But to me, this is one of most positive signs yet that there will be a 2021 season.
We’ll see where all this goes. Two sides remain in discussion.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 4, 2020
Apparently it seemed like there still was some doubt that the season would be played. Pierre LeBrun at The Athletic filled in some of the gaps having confirmed his information with sources in the NHL and NHLPA. It looks like the cap on games will be 56, maybe even as low as 52. Training camps would begin January 2nd for a mid-January regular season start. For the teams left out of the bubbles, voluntary training camps will begin right after Christmas.
The league has a deadline to complete the season. Since the Tokyo Olympics was pushed back to this summer, the NHL must complete their season before the Olympiad begins since NBC owns the broadcast rights for both sports. There is also the issue of having the season wrapped up in a timeframe that would allow the next season to begin on time in October. That’s the season that the Kraken will arise from Puget Sound in their awesome tri-blue uniforms.
So, no word yet on the temporary division alignments or the financial stuff. The latter might be the dealbreaker on the 2020-2021 season.