Yes, this was published on the 8th of December, but I like to be sure before I report. This is especially true when we’re talking about the start to the NHL 2020 – 2021 season! Although it looked questionable a week ago, the Players Association and NHL have settled, looking toward the future with a January 13, 2021 puck drop. Discussions and decisions are going at a reasonable pace now, both meeting each day since Thursday of last week, eying the end of this week to have most of this upcoming season charted out. No doubt a goal to make owners, players and fans excited for the new year!
As for other details, the amount of projected games has not changed. The expectation is to hold either a 52 game or 56 game season. Further news on these and how divisions will be broken up for safety may take some time to learn, as the Player’s Association board, as well as those on the NHL Governors Board will see, discuss, debate and even change these plans before the public will see the final results.
The financial issues within the teams was decided just recently as well. As said in my prior article, the owners of NHL teams were wanting more cash from the NHL, due to fans not being in seats and a delayed start to the season. This was not an option the NHL would entertain, and thus the owners went back to the players, asking to go back on their summer deal. With a new agreement of “players taking even more deferred compensation past the 10% they already agreed to this past summer and accepting changes to the escrow cap.” (https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/30476467/sources-nhl-union-clear-hurdle-eye-jan-13) a deal was finally made. The players focused on wanting to do just that, play again, settled.
All luck isn’t lost though for owners, as the NBA has since raised the bar. It was reported to ESPN, and noted in the article referenced above, that the league is giving some major backing to their team owners, in the amount of 30 million each. It is also noted that the NHL has no plan of doing this, but that it isn’t off the table, just not in the deck of cards yet. Remember the NBA season will start in the next couple weeks, before Christmas, so they are a little further ahead than the NHL. I’ll bring you this, and more, as it develops. Until then, celebrate, hockey is one it’s way back!