January 19 Likely Start of the NHL Season
If everything goes smoothly in the voting processes on a new collective bargaining agreement, a truncated NHL season will begin Jan. 19, according to a top league official.
“The current objective and expectation is to open training camps on Sunday, January 13 and to commence a 48-game regular-season on Saturday, January 19,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an e-mail to the Tribune on Tuesday.
The NHL Board of Governors will meet Wednesday in New York to vote on ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement after a deal was reached between the league and players association early Sunday morning that would end the lockout. Members of the NHLPA are expected to vote over the next couple of days on whether they will approve the deal. It’s expected both sides will vote in favor of the new CBA, paving the way for the start of the season.
Depending on travel, teams could have a five- or six-day training camp to prepare for a season that will only include games against conference opponents. In the original schedule released by the league prior to the Sept. 15 lockout, the Chicago Blackhawks were to be in Nashville to play the Predators on Jan. 19.