According to a report from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet Canada, the NHL and NHLPA have a tentative agreement on a 56-game season. TSN’s Renaud Lavoie adds that an announcement could come in the next few days with the 2020-21 season beginning on Jan. 13.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke in a panel discussion on Wednesday morning and said the NHL's target remains a mid-January start and talks are mainly regarding COVID-19 protocols for the season. That start date is far from certain as more time passes.
According to reports from TSN’s Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed that the economic framework of the CBA agreed upon in June will not change. Now, both sides shift focus to planning out a season and everything that will go with it with a target start date of Jan. 13.
With the calendar turned to December, the Jan. 1 target date is no longer realistic to open the 2020-21 season. Instead, the NHL has proposed a mid-January start to the season, according to a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
There was hope that there would be some concrete details about the upcoming NHL season, but negotiations on a return have hit a snag during the week. The players are reportedly “blindsided” by a request from the NHL owners to change the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
The NHL has worked out a return-to-play plan, CBA extension and used very specific planning to get to the start of Phase 3. For them to complete the season, the next two weeks leading up to the travel to Phase 4 hub cities is critical.
The biggest uncertainty in completing the NHL season remains COVID-19, but after the NHL and NHLPA's most collaborative labor efforts in decades, it would be a just reward if they can award the Stanley Cup.