It sounds crazy – and frankly, it probably is – but one anonymous NHL governor still thinks an 82-game season is possible.
How? By pushing the Stanley Cup finals into July.
From the Globe and Mail:
His rationale is simple: The only way a deal gets done is if the players receive the full value of the contracts they signed before the Sept. 15 lockout, even after they split league revenue 50-50 with the owners. The only way to do that is play all 82 games to maximize revenue.
“Now is the time to make a deal,” the governor said. “Make a deal this week and you can come close to playing 82 games. Maybe you can play 82. Why not, for just this year? If you have to play the finals in July, play it.”
The regular season was originally scheduled to start on Oct. 11, but the lockout has caused all games to be canceled through November.
Last year, the Stanley Cup was awarded on June 11.
In 1995, the Cup was awarded on June 24 after a lockout stretched into January, leaving a 48-game season.
Consider us extremely skeptical that an 82-game season is still possible, even with a Dec. 1 start and the finals pushed back to late June or early July. Too many games, too little time. Not only for the players, but also the fans.
The owners and players have made their beds, now they’ll have to sleep in them.