NHL Focusing on Jan. 1 Start to 2020-21 Season
It was just over a week ago that the Stanley Cup Final came to an end and completed the 2019-20 season. The question immediately became when would the NHL start up again and begin the 2020-21 season.
Originally, the plan was to open training camps on Nov. 15 with a target start date set for Dec. 1. Amid the challenges of planning a schedule and choosing a start date that felt attainable and reasonable, the NHL and the NHLPA made their intentions prior to the start of the 2020 NHL Draft on Tuesday night.
Gary Bettman announced that the NHL and NHLPA have put the focus on a Jan. 1 start date for the 2020-21 season. Estimated timing for the start of training camp will be announced at a later date.
The NHL and NHLPA deserves a lot of credit for agreeing to the return-to-play plan. During the pause, both sides worked to not only construct the plan to finish the 2019-20 season, but also constructed a new CBA that extended labor peace for six years.
Everything with this announcement is currently tentative, but the NHL just executed a plan where they hit every targeted start date. Things could certainly change if the outlook were to change, but putting a target on the table gives fans something to look forward to for the moment.
Following the NHL Draft over the next two days and free agency opening on Friday, there will be approximately two and a half months remaining until the proposed start of the 2020-21 season.
There is sure to be more developing with the league’s targeted date, plans for training camp, potential season schedule and protocols in the coming weeks and months.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.