NHL Eyes Mid-January Return, Shortened Season

The NHL has its sights on a mid-January start date with a 52 or 56 game schedule, according to multiple reports.

Between the necessary time for training camp and the COVID-19 quarantine protocols in some markets and the financial stalemate between the NHL and NHL Players Association, the league’s target start date of Jan. 1 quickly became unfeasible.

There hasn’t been much reported progress regarding the NHL’s request for players to defer an additional 16 percent of base compensation for the season, as well as raise the escrow cap from 20 percent to 25 percent.

Both sides, however, have begun to take some strides on the non-economic issues on the season.

TSN reported that the NHL and NHLPA conducted meetings in which the league inquired about a mid-January start for the first time. A 52-game and 56-game schedule were both discussed as options.

With a full 82-game season seemingly out of the question, the league has also reportedly considered a 48-game season.