There has been no decision made on when the 2020-21 NHL season might begin.
Time is running out for a January first start date. It looks as if mid-January or, at the latest, Feb. 1 may be the kickoff to the upcoming NHL season.
According to Emily Kaplan of ESPN, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated that the Jan. 1 target date is a “work in progress.” He also said that the league is taking its time looking “for ways to move forward” amid the second COVID-19 wave because they want to do things right when it comes to health and safety.
Numerous other issues also have to be worked out for the NHL to start their season.
There is division re-alignment that will need to occur due to the Canadian Government and their COVID restrictions.
There is only essential travel allowed across the Canadian border. Bettman may have to have an all Canadian division, which would mean that other divisions would also need re-alignment.
The NBA’s Toronto Raptors are in Tampa to play the first half of the season and may play the entire season in Tampa due to COVID-19.
Here in the states, the county of Santa Clara in California has limited all contact sports for a minimum of three weeks. That would force the San Jose Sharks to find a new home and training facility.
The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL are in Arizona for the next three weeks and will play any home games in the Arizona Cardinals’ home stadium.
There is some talk about a 56 game schedule whenever the season would kickoff. That would mean the Stanley Cup would be played in July and wrap a week or two before the Summer Olympic games begin.
Teams will need a 2-3 week period of training camp with a pre-season game or two before the season officially begins.