NHL, NHLPA Agree To 56-Game Season

The NHL and NHLPA, according to sources first and later confirmed by Deputy Commish Bill Daly, have agreed to a ‘tentative’ deal for a 56-game season that would begin on January 13th. The reason it is tentative and not fully concrete is the fact that they will have to get the go-ahead from Canadian health authorities and the executive boards of the two parties. After that, it is expected the deal will be complete. Due to the uniqueness of the league, it’s not known as of yet what will be done in regards to the Canadian teams.

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One idea bandied about is that they will only play one another, but this has some issues because the restrictions are tough even for travel inside of Canada. So, figuring out where those teams will play, and it’s looking increasingly likely they will have to do so somewhere on American soil, is going to be a huge issue that needs to be resolved. With that said, divisional (or regional) play is expected to keep travel time to a minimum. It could happen that three or four teams meet in a ‘host city’ for a few days and that all the teams play each other once or twice. That would reduce the number of arenas needed for ‘guest’ Canadian teams in the USA and help lighten the load traveling-wise. How it all shakes out remains to be seen as of yet, but the league has made some progress, that much is for sure.

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