Just like they did after a lockout during the 1994-1995 season, the NHL looks set to play a 48-game regular season schedule after furious negotiations on Sunday brought an end to this season’s prolonged lockout.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to the Associated Press on Monday that “48 is most likely at this point, unless the players can expedite their ratification process.” Though there was speculation that the league might play a 50-game schedule after Sunday’s agreement was reached, it appears that the season will be two games shorter. According to the Denver Post, the league has also circulated a memo among NHL teams that they should be prepared to start playing by January 19th.
This season is the third in the last 20 years to be shortened or cancelled due to labor disputes between the NHL and its players. The lockout, which ended with a new 10-year labor agreement, could possibly result in lost revenue topping $1 billion, after 40% of the regular season was cancelled, according to the Post.