Summer hockey? NHL players pitch July restart; playoffs in August and September

Sporting News

The 2019-20 NHL season has been on pause since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic and it's still unclear if, or when, it will resume.

According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, some of the NHL's top players have pitched a late-July restart for the 2019-20 NHL season with training camp starting in early July. Following the conclusion of the regular season, the Stanley Cup playoffs would start in August and run through September.

The league would then conduct a one-month offseason in October in which the NHL Entry Draft and free agency would take place, with the 2020-21 season ultimately beginning in November.

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TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported that an NHL governor has heard a version of this proposal and that an October offseason would be ideal for some of the southern NHL clubs who tend to have low attendance numbers during that month.

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A big concern for that governor according to LeBrun is the NHL resuming the 2019-20 season too early, then a player testing positive for the coronavirus, leading to another shut down of the season.

LeBrun added that there is no leading option for how to proceed to finish the 2019-20 season. Sports-Express' writer Igor Eronko reported that the NHL was considering a 24-team playoff with TSN's Darren Dreger adding that an NHL GM saw this as a strong option.

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Seravalli said the players do not want the playoffs to be played in empty arenas and that they are willing to hold out as long as possible to ensure fans can attend games.

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