HSJ discusses the 20-21 NHL season’s possible start

The Free Press’s Helene St. James wrote an article which discusses the high probability of a 2020-2021 NHL season, as well as the possibilities surrounding the league playing in “bubbles”:

“I’m very optimistic,” [Red Wings GM Steve] Yzerman said this week. “I’m hopeful. I don’t really have any control over it.  The league can only control so much, as well. I think the Players Association and the league, the cooperation from both sides has been fantastic. It’s my understanding they’re working together now to put a plan in place.”

The NHL and NHLPA succeeded in staging the 2020 playoffs in August and September because they were able to hold games to Toronto and Edmonton. Teams were isolated in “bubbles,” with quarantines required before entering. (Players, such as Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask,  were also allowed to opt out.) But it’s one thing to ask people to hole up for two months with the Stanley Cup as the ultimate carrot, another to limit contact for a full season, even if it’s reduced in length. 

The NHL naturally would prefer to have some degree of fan attendance, but that might not be possible, even if it reconfigures the league for a season to prioritize regional play. 

“Ultimately we’re restricted by international governments — the Canada-US border —local, state governments,” Yzerman said. “Right now it looks like we’ll be able to come up with some kind of plan, but I don’t know specifically what that is.

“And then I kind of keep my fingers crossed that things don’t go sideways again and we are not able to play. I’m optimistic we will come up with something that works, and we’re just kind of waiting for any guidance from the league as to what the plan will be.”


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.