News – NHL could resume 20-21 season in January
The NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman raised the possibility of the next season starting later than the expected date of December 1. In a conference, he repeated on Saturday that the plan is still to present an 82-game schedule.
Except that the health situation concerning the Canada-US border could affect the movements of the teams, while the presence of spectators in the stands will depend on the local authorities. The main issue concerns the closure of the Canada-US border for non-essential travelers, which affects the NHL more than other circuits in North America since it has 7 Canadian teams and 24 American teams in its ranks.
Bettman has indicated that it is possible for the 2020-2021 season to begin in late December or even January, adding, however, that he would like to avoid a scenario where the Stanley Cup playoffs extend until the end of the summer. He and the other leaders are watching what is being done elsewhere in Europe and in other North American professional circuits.
Bettman mentioned that the economic consequences of the pandemic will be significant since at least 50% of the teams’ income comes from the counters. He is not worried about the future of the 31 organizations, however, and noted that the Seattle Kraken will make its debut as planned in 2021-2022.
Regarding the recovery of this summer finally, the NHL is less than two weeks from successfully concluding its relaunch, after the season was interrupted on March 12 by the Coronavirus. More than 30,000 screening tests were performed in the bubbles and the results were all negative.