The NHL and NHLPA reached an agreement toward a framework for the upcoming season, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports.
As expected, both parties agreed to a 56-game schedule, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
While no details have been confirmed regarding opening night, it’s been widely reported that the league is targeting a Jan. 13 start date that would feature the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning hosting a yet-to-be named opponent. According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, no preseason games will be played.
The NHL has reached an agreement with the NHLPA on the season, pending respective votes by each side.
NHL plans to schedule a Board of Governors call/vote sometime this weekend. The NHLPA already had an exec board call scheduled for 8 pm ET tonight.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 19, 2020
The tentative NHL/NHLPA agreements calls for no exhibition games. Directly to the real thing.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 19, 2020
In order for the season to be ratified, the agreement must get approval from the league’s board of governors, who will hold a meeting this weekend at a yet to be confirmed date.
Playoffs will be top four in each division -- each division produces a champion for the Stanley Cup Semifinal
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 19, 2020
It has been previously reported that this season will feature an All-Canadian division, due to the current Canada-United States border restrictions. However, health authorities in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta would all have to approve teams traveling within Canada, and at this juncture, the federal government doesn’t appear eager for the NHL to resume expeditiously.
“The Government of Canada's priority is to protect the health and safety of Canadians. The resumption of sports events in Canada must be undertaken in adherence to Canada's measures to mitigate the importation and spread of COVID-19," the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement Thursday.
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