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Rumor: NHL/NHLPA to talk Tomorrow. 48 Games is a 99% Likelihood.

December 1, 2020, 12:03 PM ET [79 Comments]
Eklund
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Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the 16 player "Return to Play" Committee has a meeting scheduled for today and has been meeting regularly. LeBrun also said the players don't believe the season could start until mid-January/February.

That jives with what I was told by an owner this morning in terms of starting dates and I was also told that a 48 game season is "99% what we are going to have."

The reasoning for this is simple. The NHL teams have to stage only 24 home games and the players don't have to play as many games in a short period of time. Playing more games won't increase the players' pay as we are not looking at a pro-rated scale, rather a percentage escrow deal. Without fans the teams lose money EVERY time they open the arena...

"Playing less games also allows for more space to make-up games if teams get the virus."

We will also see an expanded playoff format of 20, or more likely 24, teams. It sounds like we will see the top 3 teams in each division make it, along with the next 12 best record teams, who could then be grouped regionally again.

I am also told the NHL and NHLPA are likely to meet tomorrow and re-open talks officially. I say this, but I am not convinced that the two sides haven't had some "unofficial" talks going on this whole time. They are trying to not negotiate this in public. The NHL doesn't want the players or the owners to appear selfish like we saw in baseball.

What's the buzz?

Are you ok with 48 games?
Are you ok with the rumored playoff format?
Do you see the players or owners as selfish?

Rumors to come... Yesterday I updated over a dozen players on the rumor chart...that will continue today..
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