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. 1st-rounders Vrana (Caps), Pastrnak (B’s) highlight Czech WJC team

    Jul 30, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    They’ll face off against Canada and Russia at a tournament in Toronto next week.

  2. Report: New Jersey re-signs Timmins

    Jul 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Florida Panthers St. Louis Blues v Florida Panthers

    Acquired last season in exchange for Krys Barch.

  3. Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D

    Jul 30, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

    PK Subban Getty Images

    “We haven’t approached it in that respect.”

  4. NHL hit with another concussion lawsuit

    Jul 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    bettmangetty Getty Images

    This time, it features just one plaintiff — former Bruin Jon Rohloff.

  5. Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension

    Jul 30, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Alternate captain notched a career-high in goals last year.

  6. Contract talks stalled between Kuemper, Wild

    Jul 30, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Darcy Kuemper AP

    “Usually this isn’t the time to fight for the big contract.”

  7. New Red Wings assistant ‘couldn’t be happier’ to get opportunity to work under Babcock

    Jul 30, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

    Tri City Americans v Kelowna Rockets Getty Images

    Jim Hiller is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Todd McLellan, Paul MacLean, and Bill Peters.

  8. Not ready to hang ‘em up? Selanne considering return to Jokerit

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT

    Teemu Selanne of Finland (8) takes a victory lap around the ice with his medal after he men's bronze medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Finland defeated the United States 5-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) AP

    Finnish club is moving to the KHL next season.

  9. Habs add Lacroix and Ramage to coaching staff

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins - Game One Getty Images

    That’s Lacroix, when he was an assistant for Tampa Bay.

  10. Red Wings hire two more coaches for Babcock’s staff

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:44 AM EDT

    Mike Babcock Getty Images

    Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer join Tony Granato, who’s also new.

  11. Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

    P.K. Subban AP

    Will this all get settled before Friday’s hearing?

  12. PHT Morning Skate: Dustin Brown vs. the FedEx delivery guy

    Jul 30, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dustin Brown Getty Images

    Kings captain meets Rangers fan. Hi-jinx ensue.

  13. Report: Sabres owner Pegula makes bid for NFL’s Bills

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Terry Pegula AP

    Now battling Bon Jovi and Donald Trump!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches