Skip to content

Imagining a shortened NHL schedule (with the NBA’s help)

Nov 8, 2012, 11:39 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, if anyone is wondering how a shortened NHL schedule may look, it’s worth noting what the NBA did last season after the basketball lockout.

In brief:

—- 66 games, starting on Christmas Day

—- Lots of back-to-backs, and even some back-to-back-to-backs

—- 48 conference games, 18 non-conference

The NHL season was supposed to start on Oct. 11. If hockey gets going on Dec. 1 (maybe it could start sooner if a deal gets done in the next few days), the CBC’s Elliott Friedman thinks “the number of games will start with a 7.”

Obviously both sides will be motivated to play as many games as possible to maximum revenue/salary, but they’ll have to be realistic when it comes to travel and safety. (AHL teams play back-to-back-to-backs, but they also have long stretches without games.)

Also, if I’m a season-ticket holder, even though hockey’s great and all, I’m not sure I want to be going to the rink three or four nights in a week and shelling out big money to watch exhausted players go through the motions. (Not that the lockout has convinced many fans that the NHL cares what they think.)

First things first though — get a deal done.

Latest Posts
  1. Kings will have full compliment of players tonight vs. Pens

    Oct 30, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three Getty Images

    After playing a man short on Tuesday in Philly.

  2. Fasth ready to return, Gazdic starts conditioning stint

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

    Viktor Fasth Getty Images

    Some good news for Edmonton on the injury front.

  3. Stars other big summer addition – Hemsky – off to ugly start

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Ales Hemsky Getty Images

    If he could get going, Dallas wouldn’t be as reliant on its top line.

  4. PHT Morning Skate: Fighting majors way down this season

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:01 AM EDT

    Eric Staal, Nick Bonino AP

    The numbers are even more striking when you compare Oct. 2014 to Oct. 2003

  5. Smith, Predators halt Oilers’ winning streak

    Oct 30, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT

    Craig Smith, Filip Forsberg AP

    Nashville continues its strong start to 2014-15.

  6. Red Wings’ Weiss still dealing with groin injury

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    He sat out the third period for Grand Rapids because of soreness.

  7. Video: Will dirty hits continue to go down?

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT

    John Moore AP

    Interesting discussion between Bob McKenzie and Mike Milbury.

  8. NHL explains why officials waved off Predators’ goal

    Oct 29, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT

    waveoff

    Some controversial calls on a light Wednesday night.

  9. Video: McKenzie’s Alfredsson update isn’t promising

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    “No news is bad news” for the veteran forward.

  10. Video: Doc Emrick’s heartfelt words about Gordie Howe

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Also: a fun story from Mike Milbury’s playing days.

  11. McKenzie: Hockey community rallies around Howe

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Frank Lennon Toronto Star Photos Getty Images

    It appears that the health of “Mr. Hockey” has been improving.

  12. Video: Ovechkin talks Olympic disappointment, Caps changes

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    He hopes to end his scoring slump against Detroit tonight.

  13. WATCH LIVE: Red Wings vs. Capitals on Rivalry Night

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    Justin Abdelkader,  Alex Ovechkin AP

    Can Alex Ovechkin break his cold streak?

  14. Flames’ Stajan goes on IR, out about six weeks

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    Markus Granlund gets called up amid many injuries.

  15. Rangers’ Moore suspended five games for ‘extremely difficult’ Haula hit

    Oct 29, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

    John Moore John Moore

    Punished for making the head the primary point of contact.

Featured video

Illegal hits are down -- but will it last?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Staal (3240)
  2. C. Crawford (3044)
  3. P. Stastny (2401)
  4. M. Gaborik (2399)
  5. E. Kane (2282)
  1. A. Kopitar (2137)
  2. V. Hedman (2064)
  3. D. Heatley (2008)
  4. J. Franzen (1877)
  5. N. Foligno (1850)