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2020-2021 Season in jeopardy?

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My guess is inter divisional play only and another expanded bubble playoffs. Virus isn't going to be better before January, 2nd wave is only starting and flu season could cripple hospitals. Absolutely no way Canada is going to open the border unless things in the U.S. change drastically. So that's the real issue, even if they follow the baseball plan, how do you run a season with 7 teams segregated from the rest? 

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My best guess is they play, let's say 56 games, and set up 4 schedules.

Schedule #1 is the best case scenario and is just a regular shortened season with no cross conference play.

Schedule #2 would have a hypothetical 1st month of a Canadian region separate from the rest. Toronto for instance would play Montreal and Ottawa 4 times each and up to 2 games against the other 4 Canadian teams. 16 games can be done rather easily without wrecking the full schedule. Arizona would be swapped with Winnipeg divisionally to help. American teams would play in their division mostly and a few cross conference games. After the 1st month they would go on to a more or less typical season with 40 games entirely in their conferences.

Schedule #3 The same as Schedule #2 however after the 1st month the Pacific Division with Winnipeg as well as the Atlantic Division would play their Canadian divisional opponents in groups to make for fewer trips between countries. Sabres would play Toronto, then Montreal and lastly Ottawa for instance. The schedule would be broken down in a way to allow each team the ability to go to the other's home for 1/2 games. Any extra games would be played against their in-Conference counterparts.

Schedule #4 Would start the same as Schedule #2 but after the 1st month would be broken into smaller 2 week bubbles. Preferably they would bubble in locations where limited fans can attend. If they never can break out of these mini-bubbles; depending on the groupings, you would go 1-8 in the conferences straight up. And effectively erase the divisions for this season.

 

The playoffs would be either a regular set up or you could play a regular 4 round best of 7 playoff using the 2-3-2 style so that travel is limited to a max of twice per round.  Instead of the 2-2-1-1-1 format we are used to.

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5 hours ago, Doohickie said:

Europe is generally in better shape with respect to the virus.... what about moving all the teams to Europe for a year?  Kind of an out-of-the-box idea, but basically set up a Euro "sister city" with each NHL team, let them use that city as their base for one season.  Assuming some level of attendance is possible at the arenas, it could provide a big marketing and money making opportunity on the other side of the pond.  Setting something like that up might take more than 2 or 3 months but if they could, it would give them fan revenue from Europe, TV revenue from North America, and establish fandoms in Europe which could increase revenue going forward.  To keep the links in future seasons, maybe have every team do a "home and home" with another NHL team at their respective sister cities in future seasons.

Nah mate, hospitals are getting full, and virus is spreading fast.   We have no poltical leadership.   You know in times like these you need a leader that will say, ***** if I get elected again next time, but I will do what is right for the people.   We are severely lacking in that front.

We are 7 months in, and they don't even know how to track the spread, Asian countries are doing a lot better.   Well everyone knows where its spreading, but politics to scared to say it.

 

Edited by Huckleberry

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15 hours ago, Brawndo said:

I think they start in bubbles or it least in empty buildings, with the goal of eventually having fans in the stands. 
 

Reduced schedules with a minimum of 48 games. 
 

Back to back games in the same city with the same teams playing to compress the schedule and cut down on travel expenses. 
 

Expanded use of testing such as Saliva Direct, which gives COVID Results in about 15 minutes.  Test results are available via app. Fans wanting to attend games would need to have a negative test less than 24 hours prior to the game starting. Fan capacity would be 50% or less of course. 

Also I’m not sure  about the logistics of something like this particularly given existing TV Contracts, but could teams switch to a paid package for games this year? With teams and their TV Partners splitting the revenue.  Games on NBC would still be free, but to see the remaining games for the Sabres Fans would have to paid the same cost as Center Ice or NHL TV. 
 

 

How great would this be if it finally ended blackout restriction rules once and for all?

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