We’ve heard for a while now that the NHL has tentative plans to start the next season in November, then it was pushed back to December, then it was pushed back again to January. Now, we’ve learned two things:

1) The NBA has reached an agreement with the players to start a 72 game season in December 2020.

2) The NHL is expecting to announce more firm plans than “ehhh maybe?” in the next week or two.

This comes from Daly speaking about their hopes to have a January 1st start date.

There is still a lot of uncertainty for what could happen between now and then — where “then” could mean either the next week or so, or January 2021. COVID-19 cases are still rising in both the USA and in Canada, with both countries not really doing all that much to stem the tide.

While that’s something that could change, the issue of the USA-Canada border still looms. There looks like a more sane president and government will take power south of the border between this hypothetical January start date and now. That may make it easier for the Canadian government to negotiate border issues, but with so many cases still going up... I don’t know. That may lead to the much talked about all-Canada division, at least to start the season.

But it is interesting that the NBA already has made firm plans to start earlier than even January. They don’t have as big a problem with the border, mind you. But they’ve already decided to cut the season a bit short by 10 games, and they “hope” to have some fans in the stands and expensive boxes right off the bat.

With some Dallas Stars fans gathering in their empty arena to watch the Conference and Cup Finals, and with the MLB and NFL having some fans in the stands in certain markets... well, it will be interesting to see how the NHL decides that, in conjunction with each team’s local health authorities.

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