While some details still need to be taken care of, on Tuesday, we got the feeling that we were inching closer and closer to puck drop for the 2020-21 season. On Monday, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association opted to move ahead under the framework of the Collective Bargaining Agreement extension ratified by both sides in July and focus on a projected start date of January 13th for the campaign.
They will now need to hammer out the protocols and logistics to get next season safely underway amid skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers, but players are so optimistic about this development that some of them are rushing back to Canada and the United States to be ready for training camps ahead. With a projected start date of Jan. 13th, training camps would be slated to open approximately 10 days prior, around Jan. 2, and would not feature an exhibition schedule.
On Tuesday, the New Jersey Devils made hockey fans especially excited when they revealed that their star player Nico Hischier left Switzerland to head back to New Jersey. The young forward fulfilled his military obligation to Switzerland, which has a mandatory 18-week service for men followed by three-week stints over the next six or seven years.
Last week, other players made their way back in order to complete the 14-day quarantine ahead of Christmas and therefore be ready for action when camps open. Oilers captain Connor McDavid returned to Edmonton after training with Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews in Arizona.
Clearly, the Oilers star player is more than ready and willing to get back to Canada in order to be ready and in shape for the start of training camps.
And now we can assume a lot more players are going to book flights to return to America and get prepared for the 2020-21 season.