According to a report from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet Canada, the NHL and NHLPA have a tentative agreement on a 56-game season. TSN’s Renaud Lavoie adds that an announcement could come in the next few days with the 2020-21 season beginning on Jan. 13.
With the calendar turned to December, the Jan. 1 target date is no longer realistic to open the 2020-21 season. Instead, the NHL has proposed a mid-January start to the season, according to a report from TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
There was hope that there would be some concrete details about the upcoming NHL season, but negotiations on a return have hit a snag during the week. The players are reportedly “blindsided” by a request from the NHL owners to change the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
The biggest uncertainty in completing the NHL season remains COVID-19, but after the NHL and NHLPA's most collaborative labor efforts in decades, it would be a just reward if they can award the Stanley Cup.
The NHLPA Executive Board had a call on Thursday to discuss the proposed 24-team playoff structure for the NHL’s return to play. On Friday, the NHLPA officially announced approval of the 24-team structure and authorized further negotiations with the NHL in pursuing the return to play.