Inventory. Players are just inventory. So what if they burn up a few, there are others waiting to fill the gap. Not as good perhaps, but willing bodies. Who suffers? Only the fans.
Would be interesting if fans just decided, 'shucks I think I'll watch curling instead of hockey' and the rinks were empty and the television ratings were zero. What would the Habs, or Hawks or Rangers be worth then?
I get the economic implications of playing without fans in the building, but I think starting in January is simply too late and the schedule becomes too compressed. There is no guarantee a working vaccine will be available in January or March or June for that matter.
If the Stanley Cup is awarded October 1, the regular season should start in early December. Most players will have been idle for the vast majority of the 2020 calendar year. Starting next season in January is going to force teams to play like 17 games per month, travel included.
Just carry a 60 man roster and water down the game.
Wait, hold on, is there still the impression that it's about the quality of hockey? Really?
It's all about the fans and soon 64 teams. Surprised they aren't holding out for an expanded 90 game season to recover lost revenue. If baseball can have double headers, why not hockey. They do split-squads in preseason, why not in regular season. They won't need a preseason if there is no break between seasons. Why not start the regular season before the previous season ends? Saves eliminated teams having to wait around doing nothing. The worst part of all this is I'm not really more ridiculous than Bettman.
I’m praying they can complete this season....no thoughts of a next season unless it’s all played in Canada .....barring a miracle the US will be knee deep certainly into the fall and most likely into next year and that’s with them waking up in the next 10 seconds and doing what has to be done. Canada is still dealing with this 5months in with only 100k plus infections and we are doing everything right for the most part ....the US is 3 million infections and doing everything wrong ....how long is this mess going to last there??.
So, according to the RTP plan being voted on by the NHL and players, the last possible day for the SC Finals could be October 2nd with 2020-21 camps opening on November 17th. For the Cup winners who possibly will have slogged through five rounds of play-ins/playoffs, that is a very short layoff. A battle of attrition between injuries and keeping players COVID negative will be a big story throughout.
This also means it could take a few seasons to get the NHL season realigned back to its traditional dates. Honestly, I don’t want to watch hockey in the summer every year. Our summers are too short. There are tv contract logistics too. Right now the NHL competes with the NBA for tv time slots and viewers. It feasibly could be up against a bunch of other sports like MLB for parts of the next few seasons.
Never a dull moment ahead.
Oh yeah, play-in games are only possibly three weeks away. Hold my beer!