There has been a lot of talk about what the AHL start date will mean for the NHL. One thing is for certain, the February start date put forth by the AHL may not align with the NHL’s aim to start in January.
Expanded rosters next NHL season
So what will the NHL do if they can’t send certain players, including prized prospects to the AHL if their season starts earlier? Very similar to the RTP plan, the NHL may opt to expand the rosters anywhere from 5-7 additional players. This will allow teams to hold on to certain players a little longer before eventually sending them down to start the season in the AHL.
Remember that every option is still on the table and that even includes the AHL starting in conjunction with the NHL. The leagues will certainly work together and ensure that if there’s a gap, it won’t be significant.
Tyler Seguin surgery delayed, could miss start of the season
Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin will be out four months to repair a torn labrum in his hip. However, due to the pandemic, his surgery has been delayed to later this week and that could cause him to miss the start of the season.
“We anticipate he’s having it next week,” Jim Nill said last week. “Because of the pandemic, where he’s having the surgery, there are certain restrictions, so we’ve had to work around some of those things. Some surgeries have been canceled, so he hasn’t had it yet. We’ll have another call here, I hope, next week, and I can update everyone on things moving forward.”
If the NHL were able to start in January, Seguin is looking like he will miss anywhere between 2-5 weeks of the regular season. Even if the NHL were to start in early February he’s miss some time at this point. That could be significant, especially if the NHL plays a shortened schedule.