The NHL is still aiming to start the next season on 1.1.2021 and play the normal 82-game regular season.
This would know that next spring’s World Cup will not see NHL players, as the NHL Regular Season will last six months.
The World Cup is scheduled to take place from 21 May to 6 June 2021. The host of the competition should be Riga in Latvia and Minsk in Belarus.
Lots of uncertainty
However, there is so much uncertainty in the air that there is no certainty about the fate of the NHL and the World Cup.
– We understand that due to various issues we may not be playing full season, we may not be playing until the summer and we may not be starting through 1 January 2021, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated in an interview with NHL.com.
Owner of the Vegas Golden Knights Bill Foley has stated that he believes that the 2020-21 season will not begin until February 1, 2021 and that only 48-56 matches will be played in the regular season. According to Foley, that too will only succeed if the matches can be played in front of an audience. Without an audience, NHL clubs can’t get through.
“One day at a time”
Head coach of the lions Jukka Jalonen assumes that the 2021 World Cup will not see NHL players. That is why Jalonen did not select any NHL or AHL men to play in the Finnish Champions League on loan for the Karelia tournament team.
The situation in the NHL could change early next year if the coronavirus pandemic continues as severe, especially in the US, as it does now. In that case, it is also possible to cancel the entire NHL season.
If the NHL can’t start the next season, Jalonen’s dream is to get piloted, among other things Mikko from Ranta, Patrik Lainetta, Miro Heiska and Alexander Barkovia In lions it can come true.
– In that case, it all depends on the NHL clubs, ie whether they will let their players into the World Cup. However, I believe that we play in the NHL, Jalonen told Iltalehti.
If the next NHL season were to be canceled, Jalonen expects at least some Finnish NHL players to start playing in Europe.
– However, it has been learned here that in such a special situation it is not worth speculating but having to live one day at a time. I always keep the focus on the next tournament, Jalonen said.
Jalonen led the Lions to become world champion in 2019 in Slovakia without any NHL players.
How’s the World Cup?
The fate of the May-June World Cup is still unclear.
The second wave of the corona pandemic, which is afflicting Europe, shows no signs of abating, on the contrary. No one knows what the situation will be in seven months.
Belarus’s political chaos and ongoing protests over the deceived president throw his own uncertainty over the World Cup Alexander Lukashenko against. Lukashenko has tried to suppress peaceful protests, even by violent means.
If the situation in Minsk continues to be chaotic, the International Hockey Federation IIHF will be forced to move the Games somewhere else. However, there is no coronavirus-free World Cup city in Europe.