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Dater’s Daily: NHL season start further delayed?




I sure didn’t like reading this story, in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in which Golden Knights owner Bill Foley talks about the next NHL season.

While the NHL has publicly said it hopes to start the next season by Jan. 1, Foley, according to the article, said he believes Feb. 1 is a more realistic start date. And, he said he thinks it would only be a 48- or 56-game schedule, so as for the NHL not to interfere with the next summer Olympics in July.

Ugh. That’s a long time to wait for the next season, and I hate shortened seasons. They always feel too gimmicky to me. But we live in crazy times, so to expect a normal, 82-game season was always probably unrealistic.

Foley also said he needs the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas to be able to have at least 40-percent of his seating capacity filled for the team to be “economically viable.”

It’s getting a bit scary and a bit desperate out there when it comes to pro sports economics. The NHL just absolutely can’t go too much longer with no-fan-bubble-hockey, without potentially drastic consequences.

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If there is a Feb. 1 start to the next NHL season, that means some players/teams will have gone nearly a full year without playing a hockey game – the six teams that didn’t even get a chance to play in the round-robin portion of the last bubble playoffs. Not only that, but it will be nearly a year before most players will have even seen a dime of salary.

Players are paid their entire season salaries only during the regular season. Some guys have gotten signing bonuses and other post-season bonuses, but not too many. Players, for the next season, will also have 20% of their pay deducted for escrow, and they’ll take another 10% reduction if the league doesn’t hit its revenue targets for the next season – which it almost certainly won’t.

The free-agent market has slowed to a crawl. Lots of really good players are still out there, without contracts, guys like Mike Hoffman and Mikael Granlund and Conor Sheary and Carl Soderberg and…lots more.

For everybody who loves NHL hockey, it looks like we’ve got a long wait ahead.

  • An example of this being a dead market, a buyer’s market: Look at what Matt Nieto just signed for in San Jose. One year, $700,000. He had a cap hit with the Avs last season of $1.975 million. That’s a huge haircut for a guy who is still pretty young and had a pretty good season. Here’s more on his return to the Sharks (San Jose Hockey Now)
  • An early look at some Expansion Draft candidates (Hockey News)
  • Did the Golden Knights sacrifice too much to get Alex Pietrangelo? (Hockey News)
  • Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said he had a “difficult” conversation with new Av Devon Toews about the trade (Newsday)
  • There’s no question, even if the Golden Knights gave up perhaps too much to squeeze in Pietrangelo: their defense now is really stacked (Vegas Hockey Now)
  • The Islanders signed goalie Corey Schneider as a free agent. The question is: why? (NYI Hockey Now)
  • We’re still waiting on a new deal for Tyson Jost. I can’t help but still wonder if he could be dealt for, say, a second-round pick out there, to replace one of the two the Avs just gave up to get Toews. But Joe Sakic almost certainly wouldn’t have publicly said he was working on a new deal with Jost if he were thinking of trading him.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Matt Briggle

I just hope they can get some kind of season and a full playoffs in this year in some way shape or form. No matter what it is shaping up to be a lost season for them financially as I haven’t seen much promising news lately about a vaccine being widely available until probably next fall at the earliest. I tried to link to the Newsday article, but got paywalled. I’m sure it was hard for them in NY, but I’m happy he’s here now. Speaking of Toews, have you heard any talk about what kind of contract they’re looking… Read more »


Regarding the contraction of the pro sports economy. I don’t know if I have too much sympathy with the players. It’s been a bit of a bubble anyway. I mean my Avs Kamensky jersey did not cost anywhere near $250 in 1997.

Matt Briggle

Personally, I have less sympathy for the owners who are all billionaires to begin with. Yes, some of the players have made millions, and anyone getting an NHL paycheck is not in any way struggling. The players though are trying to do their best to make as good of a living as they can by trading a frangible and finite asset in their athletic ability. Some will become very wealthy and have enough money to set their heirs up pretty well, but most will just end up with a good foundation to start building a new career on. I’m not… Read more »

[…] Dater’s Daily: NHL season start further delayed? Colorado Hockey Now […]

Charlie Anderson

Let me ask this. If this “pandemic” is so dangerous? How come there aren’t people dying from it. And no I don’t count people who are 80 years old with multiple pre-existing conditions as casualties of this “disease”. 80 year olds who have pre-existing conditions are the same people who die from the common cold every year. Something has to kill us, right? Are we all going to live forever? Damn near 50% of the USA, haven’t cared a lick about their hopped up “pandemic”. So if it’s so dangerous, how come those of us that don’t care about social… Read more »

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