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NHL aims to start next season on January 1

It’s certainly not set in stone, but it’s a target!

2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Boston Bruins v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL and NHLPA have announced a target date of January 1, 2021 to start the 2020-21 season.

The league is reportedly still looking to have a full 82-game season at this time, ideally with at least some fans in attendance.

Of course, all of this will be based on what happens with COVID-19 between now and that target date for the start of the next season.

Previously, December 1 was set as the target date for next season, but what’s one more month of waiting?

Training camp dates will be announced at a later time.

It will be interesting to see what the NHL does with that January 1 date, as it’s normally set aside for the Winter Classic, the league’s biggest non-Final event.

It’d probably be a logistical nightmare, but it’d be interesting to see the league kick off the slate with an outdoor game, a setting that might make it at least slightly more likely to allow a few fans to attend.

Still, it’s probably a fool’s errand to even bother speculating that far ahead. For now, we’ll just hope that January 1 date is doable.