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The 2012-13 NHL Schedule: Coming Up Short


Word out on the street is that the 2012-13 NHL Schedule will be released tomorrow, Thursday, 21 June. Hot damn! That time of year we wait for immediately after The Cup is raised so we can see what games we are going to next year is upon us…

But what if the schedule is derailed due to dysfunctional Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) discussions? If the ideal response is to plan to continue the season by playing as many games as possible, then we say there are three, potential Readjustment Points (RP’s) for the 2012-13 NHL Schedule.

If you assume the average NHL week consists of three games played, that the season starts on something like the weekend of 6 October and the desire is to maintain the same, basic playoff schedule start up and ending timeframe, here is what we say can happen…

Readjustment Point 1 (RP1)

Here we assume the disagreement is merely a minor squabble that bled over from the deadline on 15 September one week. If one week = three games, then the NHL can do the easy thing and drop from 82 to a 79-game season that includes the following:

6 games X four Intra-Divisional rivals (24 Games)
4 games X 10 Intra-Conference rivals (40 games)
1 game X 15 Inter-Conference rivals (15 games)

As listed above, this RP merely jettisons the three additional games teams play against Inter-Divisional competition. Sure, half of the NHL gets screwed out of one home game. That will cause some issue amongst the teams. So the most likely, final RP1 adjustment is actually:

6 games X four Intra-Divisional rivals (24 Games)
4 games X 10 Intra-Conference rivals (40 games)
1 game X 15 Inter-Conference rivals (15 games)
And 1 more game X an Inter-Conference rival (1 game)

Keep in mind this would likely see the season start on the weekend of 13 October and end sometime early the weekend of 6/7 April or the week of 8 April. The 2013 Playoffs might then go about two days longer than normally expected.

RP2

In this scenario, things were a bit nastier in the bargaining rooms. We lost seven weeks of the season here, with the 2012 Pre-Season kicking off the week before U.S. Thanksgiving and the Regular Season begins the weekend after that holiday. Here is how change could happen:

6 games X four Intra-Divisional rivals (24 Games)
2 games X 10 Intra-Conference rivals (20 games)
1 game X 15 Inter-Conference rivals (15 games)
And 1 more game X an Inter-Conference rival (1 game)

This is a 20 – 21 week schedule that would run from the last week in November 2012 until late March 2013 with normal playoffs.

RP3

And the third option is the partial season because the CBA negotiations turned into dis-cuss-ions. This is an asterisk season:

4 games X four Intra-Divisional rivals (16 Games)
2 games X 10 Intra-Conference rivals (20 games)
1 game X 15 Inter-Conference rivals (15 games)
And 1 more game X an Inter-Conference rival (1 game)

This 52-game, shortened season would still preserve the essence of the scheduling process as it currently exists in terms of the variety of teams that fans could see play.

To keep the playoffs on track, however, it would have to start in mid-December 2012 and not on New Years’ Day with the Winter Classic as some suggest. That is unless there are going to be some four-game weeks for teams and/or the playoffs run until July 2013.

Summary

As a bottom line, we here at On Goal Analysis hope a shortened season does not come to pass. We believe the momentum the NHL has built up in the last couple of years has the potential to be shattered if a stoppage occurs.

But if the NHL and NHLPA just need a little extra time before they kick off the season as they get things settled, there are at least three viable options that see the season begin by mid-December.

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The CBA-Shortened Season: One More Readjustment Point « The OGA Blogs - July 15, 2012

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