The NHL’s lockout has been a bit of a hot potato for a while now, with some people wondering whether it would ever happen, and some people predicting it would happen in the next few weeks.
That uncertainty was put to rest on Wednesday with the NHLPA’s release of its final season-ending schedule, which shows the league is officially in lockout mode.
The schedule shows the players will have a five-game home stand on February 6-7, with another three games on February 10-11 and another four games on March 6-9.
That’s four more games than the previous season, which was six.
There’s also a four-game break on March 15-16, with a return on March 29-30.
The league announced the schedule on Wednesday at a press conference in Toronto, where the players union also announced the team scheduling for the coming season.
The NHL is still in the process of finalizing a new collective bargaining agreement, but the league and players have had some good conversations and agreed to keep the schedule as it is, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said.
The lockout will end on April 17, 2024, when the players, coaches and executives will be eligible to return to the game.
They will have until March 10 to get back into the game and the rest of the calendar will remain open.
The players will be paid $75 million, but it’s not clear if the players themselves will receive any money, as it’s been reported the union will get $100 million from the league.
The first NHL game of the season will be on February 13 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and it’s expected that the team will be back on the ice before the end of the regular season.
In the meantime, the NHL has announced that the league will have two home games on the opening weekend of each month, but only one on the second weekend.
That means the schedule will stay the same through February 23.
That means there will be four games per month for the duration of the lockout, with two on Feb. 10 and two on March 3.
The first game will be against the Los Angeles Kings on March 1.
The other three games will be between the New Jersey Devils on March 7 and the Calgary Flames on March 14.
There are also two games in the middle of February.
The last two home dates for the NHL will be April 15 and April 22, with the final game of each season on April 22.
That makes for eight games in April.
The teams will have the option of playing on home ice only, and there is no indication of when those games will take place.
The next two games will have no home ice, but that could change with the league’s decision to re-introduce home-ice advantage into the NHL.
There is no set date for the reintroduction, but Bettman said it will happen sometime this spring.