NHL Plans Full Schedule, But No Start Date Yet For 2020-21 Season
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Sun 20th September 2020 | 09:00 AM
Los Angeles, Sept 20 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Sep, 2020 ) :The NHL is planning for a full 82-game schedule next season but commissioner Gary Bettman said Saturday an exact start date remains uncertain.
Bettman, speaking in Edmonton before the start of game one of the Stanley Cup final between the Dallas stars and Tampa Bay Lightning, said he envisioned a traditional four-round, best-of-seven format for the Stanley Cup playoffs next season.
"I anticipate playing a full season next season, 82 games, full playoffs," Bettman said. "How and when we do that is something that we don't all have enough information to make any decisions, and anything would just be sheer speculation.
It began with a Stanley Cup qualifiers round-robin and eight best-of-five game series.
The league initially targeted December 1 as a possible start date for next season, but the date could be later.
"My preference would be to stay out of summer as much as possible," Bettman said. "Our fans typically like watching us through the fall, winter and into the spring, and it's always been a goal to be done by the end of June.
"If we can avoid it (next year) we will, but it's premature to have an answer other than we understand the issue -- and we're going to try to deal with it as best we can." Bettman said the NHL is looking into multiple options of how next season could play out. Continuing government restrictions related to coronavirus could affect the league's plans.
"There is still so much we don't know," Bettman said. "Nobody can tell me whether or not the border between Canada and the United States is going to be open by a date certain. Nobody can tell me what the state of Covid-19 is going to be." He said it remained unclear if teams would be able to have fans in their arenas. He said it was possible next season could start with no spectators allowed, and clubs could phase in fan admissions.
But Bettman said he was confident the league and its clubs could withstand the financial stress that the pandemic has caused, even though attendance impacts at least 50 percent of league-wide revenue.
"While nobody has any revenue coming in right now, and owners are obviously writing checks to cover overhead and expenses, our franchises will get through this and will come out stronger on the other side," he said.