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According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, the 2020-21 NHL regular season will be no longer than 48 games for each team, the same number each team played during the 2012-13 lockout season.
“Let’s start with the obvious: a start date of Jan. 1, mid-January or sometime in February — which some teams believe is still possible — would likely mean a shortened season,” Kaplan wrote. “That could mean upward of 65 games or as low as 48 games, like we’ve seen in seasons impacted by work stoppages. According to league sources, a 48-game season is considered the absolute minimum at this point.”
The NHL announced in late September that they were targeting January 1 and still are but are preparing for a possibility of that date being pushed back.
The league has discussed an opening day outdoor game at Alberta’s Lake Louise.
This season will likely see a realignment in the standings due to the border closure of the United States and Canadian border still in place due to COVID-19. That could pave the way for an all Canadian division for this season. The Canadian government previously denied the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays permission to play their home games for the 2020 season in Toronto with teams flying in and out of Canada.
Four bubbles to start the upcoming season have been discussed with teams rotating in to play games and out to spend time with family and friends back home.
Since the NHL is still targeting a January 1 start, we could get some announcements in the future.
By Harrison Brown