Fans were excited earlier on Tuesday when it was announced that the first round of the2020 NHL Draft will take place on Oct. 6, with rounds two through seven taking place the following day. Free agency, meanwhile, is scheduled to start three days after the first round of the draft on Oct. 9.
We all readjusted all calendars and had a feeling it could mean that the 2020-21 season, which has been expected to kick off in December, could start even earlier than projected.
Well, think again. We hate being the bearer of bad news here but it sounds like most general managers across the league are expecting the 2020-21 campaign to start in mid-January or even February, per Frank Seravalli of TSN.
The GMs are expecting a delay in the start of activities of the 2020-21 season and it sounds like patience will be in order for everyone involved.
At first, we were all expecting the 2020-21 campaign to start on December 4th as it was explained by commissioner Gary Bettman when announcing the Return to Play plan.
But now, it sounds like it could be weeks, even months later. We suspect that the NHL will possibly want to delay the start of its 2020-21 season as much as possible to allow its teams to safely welcome fans during their local games, in order to earn significant additional income.
It looks like the Stanley Cup will be awarded before October and we assume there will be a lot of moves and trades then thanks to the annual draft and the free agency market. However, November might feel quite long, especially if training camp only starts in December or potentially even after Christmas!
We all get to understand how tough it has been for the players and NHL staff to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and having to set up two bubble cities in Toronto and Edmonton to hold the playoffs.
Players would never accept to spend an entire season in a bubble or bubbles and we assume that Bettman is looking to get fans back in the arenas. That could take a while, especially with the uncertainty of a second wave of the pandemic.
Let’s see how long fans will have to wait for the next regular season.