NHL News: Nick Kypreos believes the NHL season will start mid-January

The NHL is playing a “game of chicken” according to Nick Kypreos. The former player and now one of the top hockey insiders joined me on the Forever Blueshirts Radio podcast to discuss his new book, Undrafted. He also broke down what he thinks will happen with the league and the start to 2020-21 season.

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Nick Kypreos on where the two sides are at

“I don’t think they have any other choice but to play,” Kypreos began. “I think the owners will try and squeeze the players for more, they’ll push the envelope but won’t rip it open.”

The host of Real Kyper at Noon firmly believes they will play next season, but isn’t confident in a January 1 start date. “No, I’m a skeptic on that date,” he said. “I think for the owners to go this far on the ask, they’re going to have to get something out of it. But they can’t afford to not play.”

Kypreos realizes Gary Bettman is in a tough spot

nhl start date rumors
Nick Kypreos in studio (Globe and Mail)

“Gary Bettman is in a tougher place than he has been in the last 25 years,” Kypreos confirmed. “He signed a deal and he has to go back to the players and ask for a mulligan.”

According to the former Sportsnet analyst he said that “10 or 12 owners pushed him to go in a direction that he didn’t want to.” Ultimately, Bettman and the owners have to play. If they don’t, Kypreos admits it could cause “catastrophic damage to the brand.”


NHL likely to start in the last two weeks of January

Finally, I pressed Kyper for his educated guess on the situation as to when the season would start. “Maybe the players want Christmas with their families,” he pondered. “A lot of people, including the league want to say by the end of the month we need to know what we’re doing, I don’t think that’s the case,” Kypreos revealed about the self imposed deadline.

“Yeah, they’ll probably go in the last two weeks in January,” Kypreos predicted. “They could easily push it back to a 48 games season (down from the proposed 60), and if you owe NBC games, no problem, just tack them on to the new deal.”