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NHL aiming for 82-game season in 2020-21, regardless of 2020 conclusion

As we all sit in our homes live-tweeting the antics of our children or pets in lieu of National Hockey League games, The Athletic has stumbled upon a big bit of news in a chat they had with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Regardless of what happens with the remainder of the 2019-20 calendar, the NHL is aiming for an 82-game schedule in 2020-21.

All sorts of options for finishing off the 2019-20 season have been kicked around, contingent on COVID-19 no longer being an active threat to human lives:

  • Pushing the whole schedule back and completing 82 games and a full playoffs
  • Completing a shortened season and a full playoffs
  • Axing the remainder of the season and completing a full playoffs
  • Axing the remainder of the season and completing an expanded playoffs

Depending on world health conditions, we could see hockey return anywhere from late May to September. But one comment from Daly provides an insight into the NHL’s mindset right now:

In other words? 2019-20 is already a mess and will be a mess no matter what happens. But the NHL’s seeming priority is to make sure that 2020-21 is a full, complete season.

We’ll continue to have updates on the world of hockey (and coronavirus’ impact on that world) as they become available.