The NHL and NHLPA have resolved their financial issues that were a potential hold up for the 2020-21 season. Now, both sides are moving forward to work out a season that could start as early as January 13, according to Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun of TSN. Dreger adds that NHL training camps will likely be ten days long and not include any exhibition play. The seven teams that did not qualify for this summer’s postseason bubble are now unlikely to receive any additional training camp time.
In his piece for The Athletic, LeBrun includes a quote from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly:
We are moving forward with the process of working through all of the issues that need to be addressed and agreed to, and that are obviously unique to playing a season during a pandemic.
That doesn’t spark a ton of confidence, but LeBrun explains that both sides have agreed to leave the financial terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, signed this summer as part of a CBA extension, as they currently are. That “renegotiation” was one of the things that the players’ union would not budge on, believing they signed a fair deal a few months ago. With the NHL presumably backing down on any changes, things can now start to move forward on planning and protocols for the upcoming season.
There is no guarantee that the two sides can work through everything, but the focus now is on a January 13 start of a 56-game schedule. Today’s news has brought plenty of optimism among the hockey community, but LeBrun cautions that the COVID-19 situation all across North America and the world could still potentially delay or derail the season completely.