Bettman: Subsequent NHL season might begin in December or January

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned Saturday he wouldn’t be stunned if the following NHL season begins after the tentatively deliberate Dec. 1 begin date.

In his annual pre-Stanley Cup Remaining information convention, Bettman mentioned Saturday there’s nonetheless an excessive amount of uncertainty to know what that season will appear like. He wouldn’t deal with hypothesis about an all-Canadian division given the U.S.-Canada border closure to nonessential journey.

Deputy commissioner Invoice Daly mentioned the main target would stay on the protection for gamers, coaches, employees and followers.

“If there’s an possibility to think about, consider me, we’re contemplating it,” Bettman mentioned.

The league has repeatedly mentioned opening coaching camps Nov. 17 and starting the season Dec. 1 have been tentative targets. Bettman raised the potential of the season beginning later in December or in January.

Requested about doubtlessly not taking part in till the autumn of 2021, Bettman anticipates a full, 82-game season and playoffs.

“How and after we do that’s one thing that we don’t all have sufficient info to make any choices,” Bettman mentioned.

The U.S.-Canada border is a big subject and has extra of an impact on the NHL than different professional sports activities leagues as a result of it has seven groups in Canada and 24 within the U.S. till Seattle is ready to grow to be the 32nd franchise in 2021. Canada didn’t permit Main League Baseball’s Blue Jays to play in Toronto this season due to cross-border journey.

Daly mentioned the league can wait a sure period of time till followers could be allowed in arenas. Bettman added, “How we begin doesn’t essentially relate to how we’re going to complete” and raised the potential of beginning with out followers and evolving from there.

The league has held its whole, expanded 24-team playoffs in quarantined bubbles with out followers in Toronto and Edmonton. Bettman mentioned greater than 30,000 COVID-19 assessments have been accomplished in that point with zero constructive coronavirus check outcomes.


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