NHL, players reach tentative deal for 56-game season

NHL Free Agency Hockey
Posted at 7:24 PM, Dec 18, 2020

The National Hockey League and players have reached a tentative deal to hold a 56-game season in 2021. The season would start Jan. 13.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the sides agreed, pending the approval of various executive boards. The NHL Players' Association's board is meeting Friday night to discuss, while the league's Board of Governors could vote on the plan soon.

Approval from Canadian health officials is still needed before the NHL can go ahead with the season.

Training camps for the seven non-playoff games would open Dec. 31 and then Jan. 3 for the other 24 teams.

"The biggest challenge is making sure that our players and supporting personnel are safe and healthy and making sure that we're not doing anything that puts the communities in which we're playing at risk either in terms of spreading COVID or taking medical resources, whether it's testing or vaccinations," Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

"We understand what is vitally important to each community and to the health and welfare of each community, and we don't want to do anything that would interfere with that. But everything that we're doing and working on with the Players' Association starts with keeping the players and the communities in which we play safe and healthy."