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Do You Want Summer Hockey To Be The Norm?

from James Mirtle of The Athletic,

The practical concern is that once you’ve played one season into October, how then do you get back on a September-to-June schedule? Wiping out a large section of games would work, but the NHL has strongly denied that as an option.

If the 2020-21 season begins Jan. 1 and includes a full 82 games and playoffs, the earliest it could plausibly conclude would be sometime in August. (And good luck trying to fit in anything like the Olympics, bye weeks or the All-Star break.)

If the 2021 Stanley Cup is awarded in August, the earliest the NHL could then contemplate playing the next season would be in late November, which would inch the calendar forward a month or so. Even in that scenario, there would theoretically be playoff games played into July for years.

When you factor in training camps and the preseason, getting back to the pre-pandemic schedule would be extremely difficult.

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Paul's avatar

I imagine many in the hockey world, from GMs, players and media who would be against this.

One of the perks has always been having most of the summer off, just imagine all the summer cottages empty!

I am against this too, I have always wanted the league to start 2 weeks earlier and have the SCF over by the end of May.

There has to be another way to deal with this one time (hopefully) issue.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/04/20 at 12:19 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’m with you on this one, Paul. 

Perhaps we adopt best of 5 playoff formats (possibly excluding the finals) this and next season, along with a compressed schedule, to fit all the games in.  No all-star break.  Maybe no preseason.

That would be assuming no second wave of covid.  In reality, I think next season gets put on pause too and we have to do this all over again; maybe at that point the wave collapses sooner and the playoffs get out of the way early enough to kick off 2021-2022 on time.  Time will tell.

Really I’d love to see 10-12 games shaved off the regular season permanently.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 06/04/20 at 12:31 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I have no interest in hockey after memorial day. Even early may I begin focusing on the short thing that is a Midwestern summer.

I think of it like the Olympics… I love watching every sport but after about a week of watching the summer Olympics I’d rather be hanging out outside.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/04/20 at 01:19 PM ET


Warm weather daylight conditions are not conducive to TV viewing here. Those late-season matinees will continue to go unwatched.

Posted by Unhealthy Scratch on 06/04/20 at 02:36 PM ET


Hell, I’d like an October to February 60-game regular season with playoffs March-May but that would be leaving too much money on the table hmmm

Posted by EthrDemon on 06/13/20 at 03:53 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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