NHL rumors: Sharks’ season could start in mid-January, last 56 games

The Sharks’ season reportedly could begin in mid-January and last as long as 56 games.

The NHL asked the NHL Players Association about beginning next season in the middle of January for the first time Thursday, TSN’s Frak Seravalli reported Friday morning, citing sources.

Development: Sources say #NHL shared draft schedules with #NHLPA on Thursday, one including a 56-game regular season for 2021.

Drafts were based on Jan. 1 start date, but sides discussed pushing that back (Jan. 15 or 16?).

Told talks were unrelated to recent economic requests.

ā€” Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 4, 2020

The NHL had been targeting a Jan. 1 start to the season, but the league and NHLPA have not yet agreed to terms. Deferred salaries remain a sticking point between the two sides, but The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun wrote Friday he thinks the players “will finally be willing to come back and defer a bit more salary” than the 10 percent they agreed to for this season when the collective bargaining agreement was extended this summer.

If the season begins in mid-January, LeBrun reported, citing sources with the league and the NHLPA, that all 31 training camps would start around Jan. 2. It’s not “100 percent” that the Sharks and six other teams who didn’t participate in the restarted season this summer and fall will get an extra week of training camp as they requested and the league wants, as “both sides need to…

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