Sports books in Vegas have released their latest odds for when the 2020-21 NHL season will begin. The league has been steadfast in their recent statements that the goal is to start play on January 1, 2021, however most insiders believe that date will slip, and the Vegas odds agree.
The current Vegas money line for the season to start on or before January 1, 2021 is +180, meaning you would win $180 for placing a $100 bet. The odds for the league starting after January 1 is -240, meaning you would have to place a $240 bet to win $100.
The primary reason the NHL is in jeopardy of missing their original Jan. 1 targeted start date is due to a disagreement pertaining to the CBA. The players agreed to a certain deferral percent, and escrow amount in the CBA ratified last July, but the NHL’s latest proposals are asking for additional salary deferrals and an increase in the escrow cap.
The NHLPA disagrees, referring to the original CBA as the governing document. The disagreement looks to have possibly delayed some planning efforts for the 2020-21 season.
Hearing that NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman haven’t spoken since last Thursday. Which speaks to how the players feel regarding the NHL’s salary deferral/escrow asks. Still time to salvage this, however. I think next week is important.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 25, 2020
It’s still very likely a deal gets done as both sides do not want to miss the entire 2020-21 season.
So, when will it be too late to start on January 1? The hour is getting late. Assuming teams need a minimum of two weeks for training camp sets a date of December 15 as the latest date training camp can begin to make the January 1 start date.
However, there are other issues at play, most notably quarantine requirements. Players traveling from outside North America will most likely need to quarantine for two weeks prior to participating in team workouts. That means players would need to start returning to North America by the end of this coming week.
In addition, there are plenty of planning issues to consider, including border crossing restrictions, local restrictions regarding gatherings and contact sports, etc.
However, it should be noted that the NBA, which most closely resembles the NHL with regards to season, arenas, playing conditions and travel, is set to begin their season in a little more than three weeks. This will also add pressure to the NHL to get things done soon, as they will look poorly in comparison if they are unable to do so.
We should know a lot more this coming week, so stay tuned.
‘By Jon Sorensen