The National Hockey might not have any other choice. While no official decision has been made on what will happened to the league’s 2020-21 season, we hear a lot of scenarios and how things might look on and off the ice in the coming months.
Earlier on Friday, TSN’s Rick Westhead has reported that “executives with several companies that sponsor NHL teams tell me talks for 2020-21 season deals presuppose teams will at least begin play in bubbles of some sort.”
It has become obvious that most teams need to safely welcome fans during their local games, in order to earn significant additional income, however, it sounds hard to make that a reality. Minnesota Wild insider Michael Russo has added some more questions into the mix on Friday evening when he explained on the Russo Hockey Show that latest info on next season is that it won’t start until early January at the earliest. He added that it would be a shortened season because of the Olympics, and even believes the NHL will have no other choice but to hold modified, regional bubbles including all Canadian bubble.
The Olympics are once again an issue here: the season's length appears like it will get affected because of NBC’s coverage of the Summer Games in August. If this is true and really causes an issue for the NHL to hold games to present on television to its fans, it sounds like a wasted campaign...
What makes this plan very tricky is how players would react to being caught in a bubble city once again, and that for much longer than they have been during the postseason.
While this potential calendar would be shorter, we doubt players will be at ease with being away from their loved ones for so long, especially if dealing with a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a lot to take in!