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Reports: NHL, NHLPA have agreement in place for 56-game 2021 season


NHL: MAR 07 Lightning at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A nice bit of news for your Friday night: it appears that we may have a 2021 NHL season after all!

56 games? Let’s do it!

Additional details trickled out as well, mostly courtesy of TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

  • 23-man roster, with an $81.5 million salary cap
  • Creation of up to a 6-man “taxi squad” which will travel with NHL team and be paid full AHL salary
  • Players have the option to opt out if the player or a family member is considered high risk; the player’s contract would just carry over to the following year

When is the NHL season going to start?

Per Seravalli and Pierre Lebrun, it appears that we’re just a couple of weeks away.

One thing that all of tonight’s reporters noted: there’s still no real agreement in place with regard to what happens with the Canadian teams.

Travel across the border is likely to still be quite restricted well into this NHL season, which is why an all-Canadian division was originally proposed.

However, it appears that such a set-up isn’t set in stone quite yet.

Minor details!

All in all, this is a very interesting agreement that raises a number of interesting questions.

For example:

  • A 6-man taxi squad...that’s going to have a pretty significant impact on AHL rosters. How will those teams adjust?
  • Will players be able to opt out in-season and still have their contracts tolled?
  • Are there new divisions?

Still, for hockey fans, tonight’s reports are good news. We appear to be just a month or so away from a new season.

One note worth considering: now that these plans are being revealed, does a new deal for Zdeno Chara soon follow?