The NHL has announced that they are aiming to begin the 2020-21 season on January 1st, 2021.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 6, 2020
NHL Hoping to Start on January 1
When the NHL first shut down, many pondered if the league would be able to finish the season. After a long couple of months, the 2019-20 NHL season came to an end with the Tampa Bay Lightning crowned as champions. With the NHL entering a bubble, there were no positive COVID-19 tests for the duration of the playoffs.
We are now at the NHL draft and the league announced that they are aiming to restart the season in January. It was very much in doubt how the league would approach next season. With other leagues trying to play in bubbles and others travelling around to various cities, many approaches have been attempted. While the NHL’s preferred model is undetermined, they are going to try and have next season.
The NHL may attempt to play in a hybrid bubble model last year. Following the success of the bubble last season, you would have to think the NHL wants to try again. Players may be hesitant. Many did not like being away from their families for so long. There were also concerns with players getting to go on trips outside the bubble. Days became monotonous and difficult to get through near the end of the playoffs. Changes will have to be made if the NHL wants to try and put on another show in the bubble.
January 1st is typically the date of the NHL Winter Classic. The Minnesota Wild were announced as hosts to the St. Louis Blues at Target Field. Fans may not be allowed in the stands but the NHL may still attempt to play outdoors. It has become a tradition that hockey fans look forward to every year. Typically a rivalry matchup, this would be an excellent way to kick off the 2020-21 NHL season.
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