REPORT: Critical dates for completion of ’20 and start of ’21 NHL seasons announced

  

According to the memorandum of understanding that the NHL has drafted, most of the critical dates have been announced for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 season, according to several reports.

The full dates for the current NHL season are as follows:

Critical dates for the 2020-21 season are as follows:

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported on his Insider Trading segment, today, the NHL’s daily schedule for games will be at 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 8:00 PM local time at both of the Phase Four Secure Zones. This would mean that there would be six games in roughly a 15 hour window. Needless to say, this tight time frame will have to be very fluid, and it also begs to question what kind of toll the number of games in such a condensed period of time will have on the players, especially the older ones.

Teams like the Blackhawks could potentially play up to 32 games to complete this season, participate in the NHL entry draft days later, free agency, and start training camp approximately three weeks after the Stanley Cup is hoisted with full 82 game 20-21 regular season and Stanley Cup playoff to follow. This means that a team from the qualifying round could play up to 132 games from August 1 of this year to July 1, 2021.

If you recall, the players that competed in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey indicated that the extra games prior to the season took a physical toll on them when the playoffs eventually commenced. This Return to Play plan would be even worse because all the games would be played within a condensed schedule and could last much longer.

The NHL will first need to ensure the remainder of this season goes smooth and with minimal COVID-19 fallout, though.  Give us your thoughts below.

The NHL’s Return to Play bracket. (courtesy of sportsnet.ca)

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