A few weeks back, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Bob Costas that he didn’t see the league starting its new season until January at the earliest.
That would seem to be the case for the NHL as well, according to this report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:
Hearing new “target date” of Jan 1 is being planned for by NHL/NHLPA. This does not guarantee season starting New Year’s Day, but replaces Dec 1 as the current target. (Potential training camp would be beforehand.) This could change in the future — but that is where we stand now.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 6, 2020
Gary Bettman said before the start of the Stanley Cup finals that he wouldn’t be surprised if the league restarted sometime in 2021, instead of December.
It makes you wonder how the NHL and NBA will play 82 games if they start at the beginning of January. Assuming the schedules aren’t squished together, and allow for the typical time between games, you’re looking at a regular season + playoffs that takes you into late August and/or early September. From there, you’d either have to cut short your offseason to get back on track for 2022, cut that season short, or just come up with a “new normal” entirely.
One of the quirks here is that football will enjoy some exclusivity throughout November and December. The NFL is always the top dog, but without basketball and hockey it will be even more dominant throughout the fall. It’ll be NFL, college football, and then I guess the Premier League or whatever else is available after the World Series ends.