The National Hockey League’s 2020-21 NHL season will start on January 13, 2021, Greg Wyshynski reports. In addition, the NHL announced the season will be 56 games.
From an NHL team exec this monrning, FWIW: “NHL is season is starting Jan 13th. Confirmed last night. We are going to be playing 56 games.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 8, 2020
2020-21 NHL Season Start Date Set
The National Hockey League has been in turmoil since Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning hoisted the Stanley Cup back in September. Both parties received high praise for the work they did to put a return to play plan in place. However, the situation with COVID-19 made planning for the upcoming season a monumental challenge. While the initially promised date of January 1st was not made, we now know when we will have meaningful hockey back. Rumours about a possible date have been swirling for months. Now that we have an answer as to when that will be, we can begin to speculate about who will be the next champion.
Fear for a Potential Lockout
With so much uncertainty about the financial status of the league, one rumour we heard involved the owners asking for increased escrow. This came just months after both the owners and the players association signed a new collective bargaining agreement. Such a thought sparked fear that we could see the third NHL lockout since 2004. Labour disputes have been a common theme for the National Hockey League. The 2004 lockout resulted in the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season. In 2012, a second lockout resulted in the cancellation of only half of the season. The Stanley Cup was awarded to the Chicago Blackhawks after a 48 game season.
This kind of contention amongst owners and players is not new to hockey. Thankfully, we will have some sort of season in 2021. It is only a matter of time until we can see who will come out on top. The upcoming season is set and the NHL will return and the players are surely happy there will not be a second bubble. With the COVID-19 situation constantly evolving and possibly having an end in sight, we can hope things will return to normal soon. Until then, we can at least be happy to have meaningful hockey played for the 2020-21 NHL season.
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