NHL, NHLPA Reach Agreement, Season Projected to Start January 13th

By Jacob Nitzberg on December 19, 2020 at 9:16 am
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday, everyone.

On Friday, multiple sources reported that the NHL and NHLPA have reached an agreement for a 56-game NHL season. The agreement still needs to be voted on by both governing bodies, however.

What we know regarding the agreement:

The top four teams from each division will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They will then play each other with the first seed taking on the fourth seed and the second seed taking on the third seed, then the winner of each of those will face off. After the three U.S. divisions and Canadian division (still TBD, see below) complete that, each division will have an entrant in the Stanley Cup Semifinal.

Training camps will begin soon, which is good news for a January 13th target date. 

Also, per Frank Seravalli of TSN, teams will host games in their own home arenas, wherever possible. The regular season would tentatively end on May 8, and playoffs would follow with the Stanley Cup to be awarded by the first week of July.

What still needs to be determined:

The Canadian division is still not resolved, but all signs point to a division with just the teams from Canada due to risks associated with crossing the border. There are still different levels of risk in different provinces in Canada, so each province also has to determine if they wish to be hosting NHL games.

Remember, all of this is still subject to change in this day and age, but this is definitely good news.

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