NHL, NHLPA Eye Jan. 1 As The Start Of The 2020-21 Season
The NHL and NHL Players Association (NHLPA) announced on Tuesday that the 2020-21 NHL season is set to start on January 1. The schedule for the training camp would be announced soon.
The only thing the organizations could give at the moment are dates. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that they haven’t focused precisely on what they’re going to do on the next season. However, Brettman assured the public that they plan to have a full-regular season next year.
“I think it’s fairly clear that while Dec. 1 has always been a notional date, we’re focused on the fact that we’re really looking now at Jan. 1 to start the season up. Our hope is to have a full season, full regular season, and to have fans in the building, but there are a lot of things that have to transpire, many of which if not most of which are beyond our control before we can finalize our plans,” Brettman said.
Commissioner Bettman also stated multiple times that the dates could be pushed back if necessary, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic still looms. The NHL and NHLPA will release more information about the training camp and tournament format soon while the 2020 NHL Draft is in motion.
In the meantime, fans can watch out for the results of the 2020 NHL Draft. Round 1 of the draft has recently concluded. For this year’s draft, participating franchises were tasked to make their picks from the selections virtually. The first round was a success despite the setup.
As predicted by fans and critics, Alexis Lafreniere was selected first pick overall by the New York Rangers, followed by the Los Angeles Kings claiming Quinton Byfield at No. 2. Lafreniere is a Canadian major junior ice hockey player and the former captain of the Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Byfield, also a Canadian junior ice hockey player, previously played for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). It’s worth noting that Byfield is the highest-drafted Black player in NHL history.
The Ottawa Senators, which got the third overall pick, had two choices in the first five picks and went with Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson. Detroit Red Wings sealed their first player and fourth overall pick with Lucas Raymond.