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Regular season: clubs could soon be playing 84 games a year
NHL teams have been playing 82 regular-season games a year for almost 30 years now. The format allows the league to create a schedule in which every team plays every other team, and, most importantly, the high number allows the league to make a lot of money.

Logical, you might say.

Obviously, it’s to the league’s advantage to have as many games as possible. On the other hand, we know that players prefer not to have too many, given the physical nature of the sport.

Recently, however, Larry Brooks published an article in the New York Post in which he stated that the Players’ Association would be willing to consider the idea of a regular season of 84 games per team.

Our colleagues at HabsAndNHL made the find earlier today.

Why are players suddenly interested in the idea? The reason is simple: they want the salary cap to start rising again (and not just by a million dollars a year), and since they don’t want to put more money in trust, they’re willing to make the trade-off of playing more games so the league has more revenue.

If the league increases its revenues, it will then be willing to consider raising the cap. Logical again, you might say.

And the change could come into effect very quickly. In fact, it’s far from impossible that it could happen as early as next season, in the 2023-24 campaign.

Nothing less.

If this happens, expect training camps to be a little shorter, too. Players are likely to insist on it if they have to play more regular-season games, and it’s not exactly the prep games that are the most lucrative for the NHL anyway.

The issue should be discussed over the next few weeks (and will obviously be directly linked to the salary cap increase for the coming season, which is currently supposed to be $1 million), but clearly, it will have to be done quickly so that everyone knows where they stand. A club like the CH, for example, could benefit from a little more accounting flexibility.

File to watch, then, but the Habs and the other Bettman Circuit teams could very well play 84 regular-season games in 2023-24.

Now it’s up to the two parties to find common ground.

In gusto

– We wish them the best of luck. We told youabout the semi-final involving Canada andthe one involving Germany earliertoday.

– Great mentality.

– Very interesting.

– The Red Sox avoided a horrible signing. My text on the subject.

– New coach in Milwaukee.

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