Jimmy Murphy caught up with three unnamed players who have a “growing feeling” that a Nov. 23 Boston Bruins-New York Rangers game will kick off the 2012-13 season.
(Their phrase: the feeling is that the league “circled” the date.)
That contest would kick off NBC’s slate of nationally televised NHL games, drawing an informal nickname as the “Black Friday” game.
One of the anonymous players promoted the NHLPA’s resolve to Murphy.
“We’re ready for that or anything,” the player said. “Not folding this time.”
Kicking off a shortened season during a holiday weekend would echo the NBA’s own lockout from last year.
As you may remember, the basketball league came to a late agreement that kicked off its 66-game schedule on Christmas Day in 2011. This forced the NBA to wedge training camp and the entire free agent period into a small window of time before its season started.
The NHL would likely need to give teams time to tweak or trim their budgets and hold abbreviated training camps if the “Black Friday” game does indeed kick off the season.