NHL News: Senators optimistic for future, and why the NHL wants a January 1 start date

Eugene Melnyk is having Stanley Cup dreams after the 2020 NHL Draft. The owner of the Ottawa Senators was on The Bob McCown Podcast and expressed his optimism.

Senators owner believes big things coming for franchise

“I think our fans would really, really enjoy to see us in the playoffs this year,” Melnyk said. “Once you get to the playoffs, we all say, you know, then anything can happen…I think our big years are coming in the next three years.”

The Senators are loaded with great young talent in Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot. They also added forward Tim Stuetzle (#3 overall) and defenseman Jake Sanderson (#5 overall) in the 2020 draft. You really can’t blame Melnyk for the optimistic view.

“We’re building for something,” Melnyk continued. “We’re focused on a plan that we’ll win a Stanley Cup. That’s the long game. And that’s the long game I’m playing. I committed to playing that play three years ago.”

NHL looking for schedule flexibility

nhl schedule 2020-2021
NHL (Getty Images)

The Board of Governors meeting last week did not walk away with any concrete plans. Matter of fact, many league executives walked away pessimistic and with more questions.

Still the NHL is targeting a January 1 start date. Why are they being so aggressive? In a recent podcast, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet stated the NHL has seen and learned lessons from MLB and the NFL.

The earlier you can start, the more flexible you can be with your schedule if and when COVID-19 cases pop up. Those will obviously cause postponement of games and you want that extra room to get the games in.