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When Will The 2020-21 Season Start?

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

The projected Dec. 1 startup date for next season now seems like a pipe dream. Pro leagues unable to fill the stands with paying customers are taking punishing losses, and probably not enough is being said or written about this.

That’s not even taking into account the seven clubs that weren’t invited to the expanded playoffs and could end up going eight months or more without playing a single game.

It seems likely NHL owners will want to have at least the possibility of paying fans some time during the next season before starting up again. How long will owners want to keep paying players when their revenues are so damaged? Would players accept pay cuts to keep the games going?

To be sure, the NHL has done a marvellous job in staging these playoffs, with the total absence of positive COVID tests while putting together the best possible television product in empty arenas. It’s unlikely, however, that this bubble concept can be used again when the league starts up. You can’t ask players to separate themselves from their families for an entire season.

Like the Toronto Blue Jays, it’s going to be difficult for the seven Canadian NHL teams to be involved in any process that involves crossing the U.S. border back and forth, or permits U.S. teams to enter Canada without quarantines. What the NHL really needs is for the border to reopen and, more important, a coronavirus vaccine that’s widely available. Neither of those issues fit very well at the moment with the hopes that there will be a 2020-21 season.

more to read SCF talk...

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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