NHL sets a tentative date for the start of the 2020-21 season

This is nuts. What a circus.

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In case you missed it yesterday, TSN hockey insider Frank Seravalli dished on some important dates on the calendar for the NHL in its Return to Play plan. The puck will officially drop on Saturday, August 1st for the “play in round” and the Stanley Cup will be awarded no later than October 2nd. 

As for the 2020-21 NHL season, Seravalli reports that training camps will open in November with a tentative start date of December 1st.

Check it out:

Tentative dates listed in NHL and NHLPA Memorandum of Understanding:
Later of Oct. 9 or 7 days after Cup Final ends is opening of  #FreeAgentFrenzy
 Nov. 17: Opening of training camps for 2020-21
 Dec. 1: Opening of 2020-21 regular season
All subject to change.

Seravalli’s counterpart over at Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman, has also confirmed the dates:

Tentative 2020-21 camps open: Nov. 17, with (tentative ) season starting Dec. 1

So, that means the "offseason" this year will be six weeks spread over October and November. Honestly... that's just weird. No hockey in November? While I'm stoked to see this summer's full on chaos playoff format, you can't deny that it's nothing more than a gimmicky cash grab. The truth is that the NHL could have shuttered the entire 2019-20 season months ago with a focus on running the 2020-21 season as normally as possible. For what it's worth, the 2020-21 KHL season will start in September with virtually no restrictions. There's no telling if the NHL could have done something similar, but a lot of fans are calling for them to do exactly that. Unfortunately, the NHL seems intent on fulfilling it's Return to Play plan at this point.