NHL 2020/2021 Season Yet to Recieve Start Date, Possibility of December or January

Carolina Hurricanes starting line up in 2017. Photo by Brent Clark/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

After cutting the NHL 2019/20 season short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still waiting to see when the 2020/21 season will begin.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the season which was originally planned to start December 1, could be delayed for late December or pushed back into January.

“Dec. 1 has always been a notional date. I will not be surprised if it slips into later December, could slip into January. But there’s no point right now in making any definitive comments on our plans because there’s still too much we don’t know,” he said during his annual state of the league address ahead of the Stanley Cup Finals.

He added that he’s hopeful that there will be a full 82-game season, with the best of seven series in the playoffs. In addition, he addressed technicalities like the presence of fans, “It’s conceivable that we start without fans, that we move to socially distant fans at some point, and by some point in time maybe our buildings are open.”

The NHL 2019/20 season was cut short due to the pandemic and a three-game series play-in tournament was staged for the teams that were playoff contenders. The later stages of the Stanley Cup went on as planned with a seven-game series.