With the financial component of the negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA regarding the new season in the rearview, the sides have turned their attention to probably the biggest hurdle still standing in the way of a 2020-21 season: logistics. Lots of rumors continue to swirl around what the league might do to address the complications of hosting a season in the shadow of a raging global pandemic from temporary division realignment, season length, training camp start dates, and COVID protocols, to name a few.
As of today, the two sides have agreed to drop the puck on a 56-game regular season beginning January 13th. This would mean that formal training camps have to land somewhere in the coming weeks; there is continued speculation that both the NHL and NHLPA are targeting a December 31st start date for non-playoff teams (according to the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs) and January 3rd for the rest of the league’s teams. Division alignment continues to be mulled over by pundits across the hockey universe, but the one thing everyone agrees on is that an all-Canadian division is a lock.
NHL and NHLPA continue to hammer away at details. Until there’s a vote, everything is subject to change. Two sides remain focused on Dec 31 camp start for non-playoff teams. Jan 3rd camp start for the rest of the league. Jan 13th start to 2020-2021 regular season.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 10, 2020
If anything, this pandemic and the prolonged time indoors has given people lots of time to be creative. If you’re familiar with the children’s picture book The Elf on the Shelf, you’ve surely gotten a kick out of the many hockey-themed variations on this classic Christmas-time story. Here’s one with Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid:
You've heard of Elf on a Shelf, but have you heard of... pic.twitter.com/bDKXrLQRSY— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) December 11, 2020
The Avs twitter account also got in on the fun, but some of the best Avalanche-themed variations can be found in the replies to the below tweet:
The NHL Board of Governor’s meeting that took place this past Wednesday had a rather interesting item on the agenda: selling ad space on player helmets. The NHL has often been a league that is slow to adapt to the changing environment around it, so it doesn’t surprise that this type of marketing strategy has been slow to come around. However, given the financial constraints that the league finds itself in, the powers that be probably know that it’s not a time to be choosy about how revenue can be generated.
This potential marketing strategy would serve as a “test run” to determine just how effective a strategy like this could be if the league ever decides to proceed with running ads on jerseys in the future. Many leagues across North America and the Globe have already adopted such strategies so it seems as though the NHL was just the next league to fall in line. It would be quite interesting to see Nathan MacKinnon glide all over Ball Arena ice with a big old Papa John’s logo across his collarbone... I’m sure Peyton Manning would approve.
For those looking for a good bit of nostalgia, Gordon Bombay and the Mighty Ducks are ready to fly again! Disney recently announced during their Investor Day 2020 that the band would be getting back together for a new project: ‘The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers’. The TV series will pick up in the post-Charlie Conway era and and will revolve around Bombay’s (Emilio Estevez) Ducks, who have now evolved into the modern-day Hawks, the main antagonists of the first movie in the original trilogy. The Ducks will face off against a new band of misfits coached by the show’s co-star Lauren Graham, formerly of the show Gilmore Girls. The series comes to Disney+ soon.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers continues the legacy of hockey's finest fowls. The series picks up where the films left off. Emilio Estevez returns as Gordon Bombay and @thelaurengraham is joining the flock. Coming to @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/r6JwLDYzmx— Disney (@Disney) December 10, 2020
Finally, be sure to check out the most recent At Elevation Podcast for your listening enjoyment: