According to this Tweet from ESPNBoston.com’s Jimmy Murphy, some members of the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players’ Association) feel that a “Black Friday” game between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers will kick off the 2012-13 NHL season:
Interesting is that Murphy says the three unnamed players state they feel the league has that date – November 23 – “circled.” Does that mean the owners want that date to mark the opening of the season as a worst case scenario? Or is that the date they’re really aiming for?
We’ve seen plenty of NHL rumors regarding a potential start date for the upcoming season, but they’ve all really had one thing in common: they don’t include the regular season starting on time in October.
Obviously this new news doesn’t bode well for the season to actually begin on time, but that notion has seemed extremely unlikely for at least a month now.
Under a normal and functioning Collective Bargaining Agreement, players would be reporting to team facilities in about a week to begin training camp in preparation for the league’s season-opening four-game night on October 11.
While the league’s current CBA hasn’t officially expired yet, it is set to do just that for the third time under commissioner Gary Bettman on September 15 and talks between the NHLPA and the league owners have been “suspended indefinitely.”
Must Read: Why the owners are to blame for the imminent lockout
At this point, a potential Black Friday starting date has to be taken as good news for hockey fans. The threat of another entirely lost season is certainly still a possibility – and seemingly much more likely than the season starting in October – so if the league only loses about a month-and-a-half of games, I’ll be happy.
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