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Just a few tidbits from around the NHL to report as well:
A shortened season is definitely in store for us, the question is how many games will we get?
56 games would be fine by me. Obviously we’d all prefer a full season but we’ll have to settle for whatever we get.
My guess? Another 48 game schedule with the season starting in February. It will take that long to come to a conclusion about the finances involved.
Another guess I made some weeks ago involved teams being able to carry a “taxi squad” this year. Some Canadian teams have their AHL affiliates located in the United States. This would mean a simple call-up to replace an injured player would result in that player having to fly to Canada and self-isolate for 2 weeks. The end result could be a standard 23 man roster with teams being allowed an extra 4-6 players to stay with the team.
If this is the case it would make the signing of Michael Hutchinson and Aaron Dell make more sense. The Leafs could carry Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell and Aaron Dell for the duration of the season, while Michael Hutchinson and Joseph Woll man the pipes for the Toronto Marlies. The Newfoundland Growlers, the Leafs ECHL affiliate, have already opted out of the 2020-21 ECHL season, so there is even less space than before for all of these goalies to play if/when things do start up again.
It would also mean being able to keep prospects like Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, as well as depth veterans that were recently signed, like Travis Boyd, around the team while also staying cap compliant. At the moment all of those players may have been forced to the minors in order to avoid exposing some other key players to waivers.
Lastly, it appears that the NHL and NHLPA have put the financial talk on hold for a moment to discuss all of the above.
Perhaps things were getting a little too strained, so they decided to switch the conversation to something they could agree on, at least for a little while, in an effort to make progress on anything at all.
The next couple of weeks will tell us a lot about our chances of watching NHL hockey this season.