According to a report from Sportsnet NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the NHL and NHLPA have shifted their focus from December 1st, 2020 as their target date for the start of the 2020-21 season and will instead hope to begin the season on January 1st, 2021.
Check it out:
Makes sense, honestly. I mean... did anyone ever really think that they league and the players would be able to pull things together in time for December 1st? I certainly didn't. Sure, there are 25 teams or so who have been sitting around and waiting for months now, but the reality of the situation was always that the league wouldn't resume play for next season until it had some sort of assurance regarding ticket sales. The bubble worked fantastically for the duration of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but neither the league nor the players want to go into a full regular season bubble. The league doesn't want it. The players don't want it. The fans don't want it. And frankly, the NHL can't exist without paying customers in the arena.
There's still time to figure this out between now and January 1st, but time has a way of disappearing quickly. Don't be surprised if the NHL comes out with a comprehensive plan for next season as early as next week. Once the draft and free agency have concluded, look for the NHL and the NHLPA to really hammer out the details of a full 2020-21 season plan. Stay tuned.