Reports: NHL considering mid-January start date

The NHL is now considering a mid-January start date for an abbreviated 56-game regular season, multiple outlets reported Friday.

The league and NHL Players’ Association discussed multiple options for the upcoming campaign Thursday night.



The Jan. 1 start date both sides had been shooting for is no longer realistic given the time needed for training camp and other preparations. TSN reported that Jan. 15 or 16 is a more likely target, with the NHL looking to wrap up the Stanley Cup Final by early July.

A 52-game season was discussed, but sources told The Athletic that both sides would prefer 56 games for obvious revenue reasons.

NHL hockey puck
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Training camps for all 31 teams would begin around Jan. 2.

COVID-19 surge a threat to NHL calendar

There are still several financial issues that need to be worked out. Surges in COVID-19 numbers could also force further delays to the calendar.



The 2019-20 NHL season Report: Toronto, Edmonton likely NHL hub cities (fieldlevelmedia.com). The hockey season eventually was completed over the summer in two bubble locations: Edmonton and Toronto.

The Stanley Cup Finals concluded Sept. 28 with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars in six games.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)