January 1st is a long-gone as a date for all of us to see a return of NHL action, but a January return still appears to be the plan. According to various sources in the hockey world, a 56 game season, with teams playing in their home markets and a Canadian Division could get going on January 13th.
From an NHL team exec this monrning, FWIW: "NHL is season is starting Jan 13th. Confirmed last night. We are going to be playing 56 games."
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 8, 2020
Financial hurdles cleared, NHL/NHLPA now hammer away on season planning. Still lots to do to get ready for a Jan 13 start. Quick update: https://t.co/AHPWq21hzV
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 8, 2020
COVID-19 could absolutely detail both a January 13th start date and a 56 game schedule so can’t 100% say it will for sure happen until we get closer to the date. There are also still matters to handle from a league standpoint when it comes to how call-ups/trades will work with a closed Canada-US border, roster size, and travel schedules in a newly realigned league for this season.
For the Oilers, if the 2021 World Juniors do go ahead then Rogers Place and the Downtown Community rink most likely would be unavailable for the team to use. The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre which was used by the Western Conference teams may be turned to again to handle an Oilers camp or Millennium Place in Sherwood Park.
When we get more news we’ll update you on the plans for how the 2020-21 season will look!