2020-21 NHL Regular Season Likely To Start in Late December

By Jacob Nitzberg on September 20, 2020 at 9:10 am
May 27, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference before game one of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020-21 NHL season may not even start in 2020.

According to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, a start in late December or even January is looking likely.

There are still several questions that need to be answered before the season commences, such as: 

  • Where will games be played?
  • How will travel work?
  • How many games will be played? 
  • What will the roster size be? 
  • Will there be a preseason?

The NHL and NHLPA will have their hands full trying to determine these answers. A modified bubble approach to the season is possible, and with the success that the playoff bubble has had in terms of safety, it seems like the smart choice. Of course, the flip side of the bubble is that it's tough on the players. 

One idea that's been discussed by the NHL and NHLPA is to create 4 bubble cities, and rotate all 31 teams in those venues in 8 game increments.

It's going to be an offseason full of tough decisions, but hopefully we'll have hockey back (after the Stanley Cup Final concludes) sooner rather than later.