NHL’s 56-game season could begin January 13
The National Hockey League has worked out an tentative agreement with its players union to stage a 56-game season, but it is still unclear whether Canadian health officials are on board with the plan.
The season would begin January 13 as long as the two sides can get formal approval from the players and the Canadian government which has closed its border with the pandemic-stricken United States to everything but essential services.
The deal also needs approval from the league’s board of governors who are expected to vote on it over the weekend.
Training camps would open for 24 teams on January 3. The seven teams that did not make the playoffs would open December 31.
The top four teams from each division would qualify for the playoffs with one team from each advancing to the NHL semi-finals, the Canadian media reported.
The biggest unanswered question is whether the Canadian teams would play in an all-Canada division or cross the border to join the other 24 teams in the US which has seen 313,000 death from the raging global pandemic.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the NHL used hub cities in Canada to finish out the 2019-20 season.