NHL Proposes Schedule, Mid-January Start to Players

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An actual hockey season may be nearing after all. The NHL presented a couple schedule proposals to the players union on Friday morning, per Frank Seravalli of TSN.ca.

The league had targeted Jan. 1 as the start date, but per the report, it is now eyeing mid-January. Both a 52-game and 56-game schedule were proposed to the players, Seravalli wrote.

Probably because the current NHL commissioner once served as late NBA commissioner David Stern’s top assistant, hockey generally follows the model of the NBA. So like the NBA, the NHL will likely conduct at least two weeks of training camp before the start date.

“I think this is the most important thing. What we’re focused on is trying to get through the 2021 season so we can be back in position for 2021-22 to [get back to] normalcy,” Bettman said in an interview with Sports Business Journal on Wednesday. “Based on everything that we’re hearing, we can look at normalcy by the time we get to ’21-22 with whatever happens this season.”

Whenever the season does start, you can be sure that the league will want to wrap everything up by early July at the latest. The Stanley Cup Finals are broadcast on NBC, and NBC also holds the rights to this year’s Olympics — which begin July 15.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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