The National Hockey League has taken another step closer to returning for a new season. The NHL has confirmed that there is a tentative agreement between the league and the NHLPA to officially start a 56-game regular season on Jan. 13.
Frank Seravalli of TSN Sports reports that the seven teams that did not qualify for the 24-team postseason bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton will be allowed to start training camp on Dec. 30. Those that did make the journey to the bubbles, regardless of when they were eliminated from playoff contention, can start their training camps on Jan. 3, with the regular season starting a mere 10 days later.
This, of course, is dependent on an official approval of this schedule by the board of governors and the players association. As Seravalli notes in a follow-up, the dates could still be pushed back.
Here are a couple other tidbits that have been tentatively agreed upon with regards to this upcoming NHL season.
#NHL/#NHLPA Agreement: 23-man roster with $81.5 million salary cap.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 19, 2020
This includes creation of 4-6 man taxi squad. All 29 players (max) will travel and practice with NHL team. Taxi squad is paid full AHL salary. CBA has been expanded to include for more flexible emergency recalls
One thing clearly missing from this is the issue regarding what to do with Canadian NHL teams if the country decides to not sign off on protocols allowing play, regardless of whether it's through an all-Canada division.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has been discussing the idea of the season starting in January since his state of the league press conference during the Stanley Cup Final.