After weeks of negotiations, the NHL is moving forward with the release of the 2021-22 regular-season schedule despite no resolution on if players will participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The news was announced by ESPN PR.
The Associated Press’s Stephen Whyno reported that the schedules will be released on the 6 PM edition of SportsCenter on Thursday, July 22 – the day after the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft.
Q: When is the NHL schedule being released?
A: from @ESPNPR, "On Thursday, July 22, the 2021-2022 NHL regular season schedule will be revealed on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on ESPN."
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) July 20, 2021
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun added that “talks will continue with all sides on finding a way to solve the outstanding issues.”
There will not be an Olympic resolution in time for Thursday’s NHL schedule release, sources say. But I’m told talks will continue with all sides on finding a way to solve the outstanding issues. But time is obviously of the essence. @TSNHockey @TheAthletic https://t.co/I8H5elH6NO
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 20, 2021
Frank Seravalli reported that the schedules will include a three-week Olympic and All-Star Break.
The #NHL's 2021-22 regular season schedule that will be released on Thursday includes the 3-week Olympic (and All-Star) break.
There is a second (non-public) schedule that the league has made in case NHL players don't go to Beijing.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 20, 2021
The news follows a Russian language interview Alex Ovechkin gave last week where he said the NHL made two different schedules – one with and one without Olympic participation.
“You know, I don’t even rack my brains on [Olympics participation] now,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t look ahead at all. I am just starting the preparatory period for the season. What will be will be. I hope we go.
“I heard they said there are two options for the NHL schedule for the season,” Ovechkin added. “I think everything will be decided in the near future.”
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said that the coronavirus pandemic has added a lot of difficult issues to work through.
“A lot has to do with the uncertainty of the games with respect to what the rules will be at the games whether there’ll be spectators, whether there won’t be spectators. How the Tokyo Games may impact how the Beijing Games are run. There are COVID-related insurance issues that are very important to all the relevant parties,” Daly said. “There remain open issues. I think we’ve worked through a lot of the more basic issues. We continue to be on unchartered territory, to a certain extent, due to the COVID situation and what that means and what’ll be like come February in Beijing. There’s a lot of uncertainty and unknowns that we’re grappling with and that takes time.”
With the Capitals’ preseason schedule lasting from September 26 through October 8, the regular season will be pushed back a week or two and won’t start until the middle of the month.
“We’ll be starting in the first half of October,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently said. “It won’t be on the first. It’ll probably be in the double digits but in the first half.”
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.