NHL now planning Jan. 13 start with 56-game schedule: report

Dec 8 2020, 10:08 am

There have been some significant developments in talks between NHL owners and players, and it appears a new season is on track to start in mid-January.

That’s according to multiple reports from NHL insiders, including TSN’s Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, as well as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Owners have reportedly agreed to drop their proposed financial changes, after players scoffed at renegotiating a deal that was finalized just five months ago.

The target date is now January 13, with teams each playing a 56-game schedule.

The Stanley Cup could be awarded in July this year, as the NHL needs to wrap up its season before the Tokyo Summer Olympics, due to television commitments from rights-holder NBC.

Division realignment is expected due to the closed border, with all seven Canadian teams likely to form a new division, playing games only amongst themselves.

Training camps are expected to last 10 days, and there are no plans to hold exhibition games.

There will be many more logistical challenges, to be sure, as the league tries to play hockey during a pandemic without the help of a full-scale bubble environment like they had during the playoffs.