It is in the discussion that the NHL could be increasing their regular season schedule to 84 games instead of 82 to encourage more regional rivalries, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. Because some teams have been complaining about the unbalanced number of games versus divisional opponents, the league has been contemplating solutions.
How Does It Work?
Currently, some teams face a divisional rival in three games, while others face them in four. The remaining games on the schedule are split between two against each team from the opposing conference and three games versus non-divisional teams from that conference.
While maintaining the current format, adding two games to the existing 82-game schedule would ensure that teams play four games against each division rival. A debate is taking place about expanding the regular season to 84 games.
When and Will It Take Place?
They will discuss the matter at the general managers’ meeting in March 2023. In November, there was a discussion that general managers want to reduce travel, add more games between local rivals, and increase revenue for the league in the long run. Players can now play several games against an opponent on a road trip, which was going around during the 2020-21 season when Covid-19 began. “Why not take advantage of rivalries and save money by scheduling more intradivisional games and more games per stop? The COVID schedule seemed to work,” said one general manager.
According to ESPN, any changes to the schedule would need NHLPA approval. Questions may be brewing from fans, but the schedule could benefit the NHL for the better.
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