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Exclusive: NHL Reportedly Exploring Controversial Revenue-Boosting Strategy

In an effort to increase revenue by having a longer season, the NHL may be shortening the offseason for its players.

The NHL will go wherever the money is, that much is certain. Fans and players have expressed their frustration with numerous decisions that have resulted from this.

A significant reorganization of the schedule is needed to implement the NHLPA’s preferred method of raising the salary ceiling without raising escrow.

The NHLPA has proposed a scheduling modification that would increase revenue for the NHL in order to offset this.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports:

“The Players’ Association is on record that the union will not be willing to raise the escrow ceiling of six percent for each of the next three seasons as a trade-off for elevating the cap above $83.5 million.

We have learned that the PA is willing to discuss increasing the schedule to 84 games.”

With an additional 84 games, the current NHL season’s 1,312 total games becomes 1344.

On paper, it makes a lot of sense to do this because, as it stands, teams don’t face their division opponents equally often, with five getting four games and the other two getting three.

The players won’t like this because it will cut into their offseason by about a week, which is a significant amount of time away from family.

In an effort to grow the sport by playing in neutral cities twice a year, the NHL previously increased to 84 games from 1992 to 1994. One can assume that this failed quite fast because it only lasted two seasons.

Now, from a schedule perspective, it makes sense to have a slightly longer season. However, if the NHL wanted to do this, they would have to cut the preseason short, something many players do not like to do.

A shorter preseason in exchange for two extra games to increase revenue for the NHL would be a possible middle ground. Would Gary Bettman budge on his position? Something tells me as long as the money comes calling then Gary will happily agree.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy


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