We still don’t know if there will even be a 2013 season, but the lockout negotiations are slowly progressing and teams need to be ready to move quickly in case an agreement is reached.
With that in mind, many coaching staffs are returning to their cities of employment while some GMs head straight from watching the World Junior Championship to their offices, according to an Ottawa Sun report.
If all goes well with the negotiations, the regular season could start on Jan. 19 following about a week of training camp. Consequently, GMs that still need to sign players or make trades to finalize their rosters won’t have much time to act.
For example, the Montreal Canadiens’ PK Subban and the New York Rangers’ Michael Del Zotto are still restricted free agents. Then of course there’s the question of what the Vancouver Canucks will do with Roberto Luongo.
At the same time, coaches will have to get their players up to speed and on the same page. That task will be made especially difficult because the players will be at various stages of readiness depending on how they spent the lockout.
Still, for any of those challenges to matter in the short term, the league and union need to come to an agreement soon.