Although Jan. 1 has been set as the tentative start date for the NHL campaign for a while, the hope has still been to have an 82-game season. Recently, it’s looked more like the NHL is interested in shortening the campaign for the sake of avoiding having much summer hockey and now we’re getting an idea just how much they’re considering shortening the season by. The idea right now is that the NHL will still start on Jan. 1st and award the Cup by July 15 at the latest. If that happens, then the campaign would have dragged on longer than normal, but not by a ton and it would be theoretically possible for the 2021-22 campaign to start on time. Keep in mind this is all still subject to change. The NHL and NHLPA are still in talks and on top of that, a 16-player Return To Play committee has been convening nearly daily over the last week to discuss the matter internally. There is reportedly hope that an agreement can be reached in the next 7-10 days. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, everything is still subject to change.