Note: The End Dates For The Regular Season and Playoffs

11:50AM: John Shannon of Sportsnet tweets that:

  • the regular season will end on April 27th.
  • the playoffs start on May 1 and could go as long as June 28.

Puck Daddy says that the draft will be June 29th and 30th in New Jersey.

9:51AM: According to a tweet from Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail, the NHL regular season will end on May 2nd and the last day for the Stanley Cup Finals would be on June 25th.

The trade deadline is expected to be on or around April 5. 10:30AM: John Shannon tweets that the trade deadline is likely to be on April 3rd.

The NHL Draft is scheduled to take place on June 28th in New Jersey. Tom Gulitti tweets that the draft will be pushed back.

Last year the regular season ended on April 7th and the playoffs began on April 11th.

The playoffs were slotted for a potential 63 days last year with an end on June 13th. They ended up lasting for 61 days.

Read: How The 48 Game Schedule Breaks Down

According to a tweet from Bob McKenzie, the 48 game schedule that the NHL will reveal later this week will be based on this structure:

  • 4 games against TWO divisional opponents
  • 5 games against TWO divisional opponents
  • 3 games against the TEN other conference teams.

Adam Rotter: The most interesting thing about this schedule structure, to me, is how it is determined which divisional teams you play four times and which teams you play five times. While they always play the Rangers hard, having one extra game against the Islanders instead of the Flyers or Penguins could be a big deal in what should be a very close Atlantic Division race. How they decide who gets the extra home game in each sequence is also interesting and could probably have a big impact in the Western Conference where travel is a much bigger deal.

Read: Some Schedule Information

Bruce Garrioch says that the NHL is going to try and keep the schedule as close to the one that exists as much as they can.

On January 15th, the day that a 50 game schedule would start, the Rangers are already scheduled to play the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.

If the NHL plays a 48 game schedule than the season will open on January 19th.

Madison Square Garden is available on January 19th. April 19th to May 14 is also open for rescheduled home games/playoff games/Knicks playoff games.

The league is expected to release more details on the schedule today/tomorrow.

Read: How Tough The Regular Season Would Be For The Atlantic Teams

Last season vs the Atlantic Division:

  • The Rangers were 15-7-2
  • The Pens were 13-10-1
  • The Flyers were 11-11-2
  • The Devils were 13-11-0
  • The Islanders were 8-13-3

The Rangers could play each of the Atlantic teams SEVEN teams during the 48 game schedule.

Read: The Different Ways The 48 Game Schedule Could Break Down

In the NY Times, Jeff Klein writes about the different combinations that the NHL could use to devise a 48 game schedule.

The schedule is going to be comprised of only conference games and could see the Rangers play the Atlantic Division teams SEVEN times each and the ten other Eastern Conference teams twice.

Another way the schedule could break down is for the Rangers to play eight teams THREE times each  and the other six teams FOUR teams.

Read: Don Cherry Says That By Mid-January We Will Have Hockey

Yesterday Don Cherry went on twitter and said “look to the middle of January for the game to return.”

Cherry adds “Don’t you remember the last time it was half a season and New Jersey won the Cup? It was a sprint not a marathon. Play within their own conference. Lots of action. The guys know every game is important. Won’t have the half season blahs. It will be terrific! They will go to the brink and then settle. Nobody in their right mind would kill the goose that lays these golden eggs.

Read: A 48 Game Season Wouldn’t Be A Sham/Season Should Be Shorter As It Is

In the Globe and Mail, James Mirtle writes that 82 games for the NHL is probably too many games and the regular season should probably be around 60 or so games.

In terms of this season, where the most games would be 48, Mirtle says that if you talk to anyone who played in the shortened season of 1995 and they would tell you how much fun and how exciting it was.

Mirtle writes “That shouldn’t come as a surprise either. Look at how physically demanding this sport really is, how beat up players get and at the travel the Western Conference teams go through and tightening the schedule should be a no-brainer.”

He adds that hockey is a sport that should be played twice a week instead of three or four times with back to backs.

Read: Is The NHL Really Willing To Cancel The Season?

At Yahoo, Nick Cotsonika writes that the NHL’s move to cancel games through January 14th has created a “soft” deadline for when the season needs to be saved.

Setting a hard deadline of January 15th would leave the NHL with little room for flexibility if Donald Fehr thought that the deadline was artificial and they would have to then follow through with cancelling the season.

He says that the NHL isn’t likely to go through the same process they did in 1995 when they had a deal in principle, started the season, but didn’t finalize the deal until later on when it didn’t turn out exactly like the NHL wanted it to.

Now, even after a deal is agreed upon in principle, there will need to be a week to draft documents and papers that have the precise language that will go into the CBA.

Adam Rotter: I have to think that the NHL, or at least Gary Bettman and the hard line owners, are serious about cancelling the season if a deal doesn’t get done.They may even take extra joy in doing so if the NHLPA thinks that it is only an artificial deadline and talks would continue after. The owners want to do what they can to hurt Donald Fehr and the PA, instead of doing the right thing which would be to embrace them as partners in a big effort to grow the game, and they may make another drastic move to get what they want.

Read: The Intensity Of A 48 Game Schedule

In the Ottawa Sun, Don Brennan writes about how players who played during the shortened season of 1994-95 embraced the schedule and the intensity and importance that each meeting brought.

Martin Brodeur said that the quality of play will be high when the league returns since “the guys can not wait to return” to the ice.

John Shannon tweeted yesterday that any schedule that is created for a shortened season will feature only conference games.