As the NHL and NHLPA continue to work through every angle for a possible conclusion to the 2019-20 NHL season, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggested on Twitter that an option on the table involves pushing back the start of next season into November.
Yesterday on Twitter, LeBrun reported that the National Hockey League is looking at potentially pushing back the start of the 2020-21 season by a month or more as a means of reaching a conclusion for the current season that was interrupted by COVID-19.
A reminder that the NHL is willing to delay the start of next season until November in order to finish off this season if possible with summer hockey. NHL believes they can play a full season next year starting in November, cancel ASG/bye week, play playoffs into late June '21
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 13, 2020
While there are obviously plenty of hurdles that would need to be cleared if this plan is going to have any chance of working out, we know that the league wants to reach some sort of a conclusion for the 2019-20 season without having to cut the number of games in 2020-21. if the league and players agreed to reduce the number of off days in the schedule, would it be possible?
In theory, the NHL could stretch the start of the 20-21 season into November by getting rid of bye weeks for teams, and by eliminating the NHL all-star week, though, again, that would take plenty of cooperation from the NHLPA as well. According to varying reports that are circulating around Twitter this morning, there are owners around the league that favour the idea of starting the next season later than usual if that means being able to award the Stanley Cup this summer or beyond.
If the owners have their way, we may see next year’s playoffs pushed back should the NHL decide to go with a model that sees the league start next season in November.