A big question surrounding the NHL is when the 2020-21 season will begin.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were crowned Stanley Cup champions in September in the Edmonton bubble, but there’s still no word on when teams will hit the ice again.
Jan. 1 long has been the “target date” for Opening Night, however, that’s just mere weeks away and training camps haven’t even begun.
Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke at the Sports Business Journal’s “Dealmakers in Sports” panel discussion Wednesday and, naturally, received questions about the season.
“That is a work in progress influenced largely by what we’re learning from medical experts,” Bettman said, via Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “COVID is going through a second wave, which could be worse than the first wave, and between Thanksgiving and the aftermath and what they think is going to happen for Christmas and the aftermath, we are taking our time and making sure as we look to ways to move forward. We are focused on health and safety and doing the right things.”
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly noted in November that the league would need to “build in flexibility” for expected hiccups once the season does begin.
Jan. 1 quickly is approaching and time is running out if the NHL wants to drop the puck then.