Ramblings: Season Update, Zuccarello Out, Top Frozen Tools Searches – Petersen, Pionk, Keller (Dec 5)

Ian Gooding

2020-12-05

A positive anything is always better than a negative nothing. That's why hockey fans should welcome the news that the NHL and NHLPA have discussed a mid-January start with either a 52-game or 56-game schedule. Training camps would start in early January, although the teams that didn't play in the postseason would be able to open training camp in late December.

There's all sorts of fantasy implications to that. For starters, I've mentioned multiple times that a condensed schedule (which will likely include a buffer for teams having to shut down due to outbreaks) would result in more starts for the #2 goalie and maybe even more use of a #3 goalie, assuming expanded rosters. A shortened schedule also means that any slumping player would have less time to make up ground or at least turn things around, while more players would be droppable with owners having less time to be patient.

Speaking of those outbreaks, you'll be able to relate if you played fantasy baseball this year or are currently playing fantasy football. Schedules will be subject to change, which means that any advantage from picking a certain team's players because of the number of games and/or quality of opponents could be thrown out the window immediately if a team has to go into quarantine. This could impact not only a team going into quarantine, but also its opponent. We've seen this in the past with occasional weather-related postponements (ie. snowstorms), but never with the potential frequency of COVID-19 spreading.

We have yet to see the NHL schedule, so it's possible that to minimize travel a team might play multiple games (like a series) in another team's building. Think of Vancouver going to Toronto, or vice-versa, in an all-Canadian division. However, teams could play a more round-robin schedule if mini-hubs are still needed because certain locations have banned indoor sports.

There are still a lot of unknowns here. At least it looks like the NHL and the PA are trying to work on those before getting to the ele