The National Hockey League and players reached a tentative agreement on Friday, hosting a season of 56 games in 2021 and awaiting approval from each team’s board and Canadian health authorities.
The season starts on January 13th. Vice Commissioner Bill Daily awaited the approval of the various executive committees and confirmed that both sides had agreed.
The NHL Players Association’s board of directors will meet on Friday night to discuss it, while the league’s board of directors may soon vote for the plan. Approval from the health authorities of the five Canadian states that have teams is still needed before the NHL can advance the season.
The non-playoff training camps for the seven teams will be held on December 31st, and the other 24 teams will be held on January 3rd. Schedules for all divisions are expected, but it is unclear whether the team will play in the home arena or in the “hub” city.
Exhibition games will not be included in the lead-up to the new season. Canada’s Sportsnet first reported a tentative agreement.
The NHL, like the NBA, ended the previous season with an isolated bubble. Two of them are in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Commissioner Gary Bettman presented the Tampa Bay Lightning with the Stanley Cup in late September.
Owners and players have agreed to a long-term collective bargaining agreement and set up a table of the economic impact of the pandemic before the 2019-20 season resumes. They recently agreed to stick to the deal, including a player deferring 10% of salary, a cap on the amount paid to escrow, and a flat cap of $ 81.5 million.
The NHL will follow the NBA for another regular season. The basketball season begins on Tuesday.
One of the remaining hurdles is where seven Canadian-based teams play. The original plan was to put them in the same department, but stricter pandemic regulations north of the border made that difficult this week.
“The resumption of sporting events in Canada must comply with Canada’s measures to mitigate the import and spread of COVID-19,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement Thursday night. .. “NHL teams and other professional sports must operate within the rules of the state jurisdiction for sports or sporting events.”
Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays played last season in Buffalo, NY, and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors moved to Tampa, Florida. So far, the NHL has one American team that may need a new home. San Jose Sharks has temporarily banned professional and college team sports that played in Santa Clara County, California and influenced the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.
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