NHL, union reach tentative agreement on 56-game season starting January 13

NHL, union reach tentative agreement on 56-game season starting January 13

The players met to approve the 56-game schedule.

The government prefers the bubble setup the NHL used for its summer return-to-play in Edmonton and Toronto, according to sources, but the league doesn't believe it's feasible to recreate that for an entire season.

The Buffalo Sabres, for example, have temporarily been shifted to the new East Division, a group of eight teams that normally play in the Atlantic and Metropolitan.

"The Players are pleased to have finalized agreements for the upcoming season, which will be unique but also very exciting for the fans and Players alike", said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director.

The all-Canadian division was proposed due to the current U.S./Canada border restriction.

"In Ottawa and Toronto, we're dealing with the local public health units, but at the same time, the chief medical health officer of Ontario", MacLeod said.

Given this news, it looks like that date is going to be a long shot and it may be more realistic for the National Hockey League to try to have a 48-game schedule that begins on February 1. There still are plans to play the games in the home arenas, although many could be played without fans because of differing coronavirus restrictions.

The league is allowing for the possibility of playing games at neutral sites if needed.

The NHL, like the National Basketball Association, finished its previous season in a quarantined bubble - two of them, one each in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta.

There will be no preseason games this year. The Red Wings and six other teams that did not participate in the 2020 Return to Play postseason will be permitted to open their training camps as early as December 31.

The regular season is scheduled to begin January 13 with formal training camps starting 10 days earlier.

The Sabres haven't played a game since March 9.

The proposal states that the regular season would tentatively end on May 8 and the Stanley Cup would be awarded the first week of July - though sources stressed that date will remain nimble.

Each of the four rounds will be a traditional best-of-seven format.

The NHL "paused" the 2019-20 season in March because of the rapid spread of the pandemic.

Under the plan, teams will continue with 23-player rosters with the addition of a "taxi squad", made up of four to six players, the person said. No. 4; No. 2 vs.

If everything goes as planned, the Cup final should be finished around mid-July. The regular season would begin in early October.

The NHL created an all-Canadian division of the seven franchises north of the 49th parallel because of border rules requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country for non-essential purposes.

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