Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images
According to ESPN, the NHL is discussing increasing the number of regular-season games per year from 82 to 84.
The league is doing so as a possibility to create more divisional games. This season, rivals such as the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins; Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames; and New York Rangers and New York Islanders face each other just three times.
The number of divisional games decreased from 28 per season to 26 after the Seattle Kraken started playing.
The change would allow the NHL schedule matrix to remain where every team plays in every building at least once per season. The preseason could be condensed to allow for more scheduling flexibility.
The topic did not come up at this week’s board of governors meeting in Palm Beach, Florida but will likely do so at the GMs’ meetings this March.
Last month, GMs were seeking a way to decrease travel and increase the number of rivalry games, including playing multiple games in one stop on a road trip if necessary.
The NHL declined to discuss this possibility, which would need to be signed off by the NHLPA to become reality. The CBA currently restricts teams from playing more than 82 games in a regular campaign.
By Harrison Brown