The NHL and NHLPA announced a signed memorandum of understanding on Monday to extend the collective bargaining agreement through the 2025-26 season and agree to Phases 3 and 4 of the Return-to-Play plan and the NHLPA’s Executive Board has approved all of it late Tuesday night.
It looks like action will begin on August 1st, and Bob McKenzie managed to put together what the 24-team playoff tournament schedule will look like as fans await to see their favourite club in action.
Mark your calendars, this is what McKenzie had to say on Tuesday night’s edition of Insider Trading on TSN:
“The plan is to play three games a day both in Edmonton and Toronto and the timetable template in local times is to schedule those games at noon, 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Now, keep in mind the two-hour time difference between Edmonton and Toronto. It means basically there’s going to be six games a day spread out over a 15-hour window, if not longer. And I know you’re going to ask me well what happens if there’s multiple multi-overtime games because it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs and it’s unlimited overtime. My answer to that would be that’s hockey. That’s the way it goes. Now, I can also tell you though, in the preliminary round, when you’ve got four placement teams in the East and the West – the top four teams in each conference – playing seeding games, there isn’t unlimited overtime. So, what they will do there, they’ll just use regular season overtime and shootout. They would put those games in the 4:00 spot to try and make up time if the first game of the day goes really long, or to give yourself a finite finish time so that it can get to the evening game. But that’s basically the way it’s going to work. And it could be like U.S. Open tennis once we get into the playoffs. It’s not unheard of to start primetime matches at midnight.”
One of the main questions that remains out there is will fans take time away from their summer schedule, away for the sun, to sit and watch games, especially in the early rounds of the tournament.
Die-hard fans will you might, but we’re not sure all games will have a huge amount of people watching, if people will set their schedule around games. As McKenzie pointed out, we’re talking about a 15-hour window in the first week of the tournament…
We’re been waiting for so long, heck, the NHL might be right to jam pack the schedule and get us as much hockey as we can have in a day!