NHL telling teams there will be a season despite lack of talks with NHLPA

Andersen beaten in RTP action (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI/Getty Images)

“The league is definitely saying there will be a season,” Flames coach, Geoff Ward told TSN’s Salim Vlaji. “So as a coach, our staff is doing an awful lot of work to make sure we’re prepared.”

How’s that quote to get your hockey juices flowing again? Yet both sides have not had any meaningful conversations since the NHL asked the players to renegotiate the CBA just signed four months ago.

NHL telling teams to prepare for the season

Could it be the league is going to back off the ask in order to hit their January 1 target? “We’re moving ahead like there’s going to be a season,” Ward continued. “Right now, we’re preparing as though it’s going to be January 1 until we hear otherwise.”

nhl 2021 season
Pressure on Bettman to save season (Charles Krupa/AP)

However, it isn’t just Ward talking like this. A league executive said yesterday, “I have no doubt we’re going to have a season.”

One of the most respected general managers in all of hockey, David Poile went on record with some very interesting remarks on Wednesday. “Let’s get the season started. I’m up for however it looks,” Poile relayed to The Globe and Mail. “Whatever the league and the PA think is the best way to get us back playing…Whatever it takes to get this season going and get it in place.”

So despite a lack of talks, it looks like we may see some rapid progress over the next few days. A hockey season is starting to appear on the horizon.

AHL waiting for NHL guidance

As the NHL gets its house in order, the number one feeder system into the league awaits more direction.

“It’s got to make sense,” began Scott Howson, the AHL’s new president and CEO. “If we’re able to play it’s going to be more about player supply and player development this year than anything else. Without fans in the buildings, it’s certainly not going to be about any meaningful revenue. So yes, we’re going to want to know what the NHL is doing before we finalize what our plan is going to be.”

Sportsnet

What the AHL needs is also financial support with no ticket revenue coming in. If the NHL relies on gate receipts, the AHL needs it like people need water and air to survive.

Howson also admitted that he isn’t sure if all AHL teams will be able to play next season. He is hopeful and says he is “encouraged that there is a strong desire for virtually every one of our teams to play.”

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