Hockey Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
You know how you were hoping for that shortened, more exciting, accelerated rate of play during the 2013 NHL season? You thought there would be a nuclear silver lining to the fourth NHL Lockout in 21 years? You know how you thought a New World Order could give us a Wild West style of play, where all teams would be forced to scramble back and forth between home and away, and playoff seeds would be designed Plinko-style?
“(John) Shannon reports that the regular season would end on April 27 and the playoffs would begin in May 1 under the schedule framework currently being considered. He hears the last day of the Stanley Cup Final would be June 28; keep in mind the 1995 Cup Final ended in four games on June 24.
“If June 28, 2013 sounds familiar as an NHL date, that’s because it was scheduled to be the first day of the NHL Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.”
It’s not all bad.
Really, this is better for the players and for fans of teams like Vancouver and Winnipeg. It’s a lot easier for the five clubs in the Atlantic Division, who all exist a short highway drive away from each other. Pennsylvania, New York, Long Island, and New Jersey all exist in essentially the same metropolitan area. Only Pittsburgh stretches it out a little bit, and they’re basically a shoelace through West Virginia divided.
The bonus here, though, is that the NHL Draft would follow the presumed last day of the Stanley Cup Final — June 29 — which gives those teams who have been out of action for two months (we’ll just assume Columbus right now) a slight advantage over those that will compete (let’s just say Pittsburgh, for hypothetical sake).
The shortened NHL season will add some excitement to the NHL’s Trade Deadline, though, which is sorely needed and is apparently now only a couple months away.
“As far as the NHL trade deadline, Shannon reports it could be April 3. The trade deadline typically when 75 percent of the regular season is remaining. To use the 1995 example, teams were somewhere between 34-36 games played by April 7, which was that 48-game season’s trade deadline. So there could be around 12-14 games remaining after the deadline if that pattern holds.”
*In case anyone’s wondering, the NHL season will be 48 games. Teams will play only those in their own Conference. So, Detroit, have fun with that.
And, if you’re wondering what the actual terms of the new CBA are (seriously, did nobody but Forbes feel like covering this?) they’re right here…