That date is only a month behind from their original desired start date, and it gives us just under three months longer to wait. It’s an extremely tentative date and a lot needs to happen between now and the, but it gives Sabres fans an idea of when they might see Jack Eichel and Co. return to action.
A bigger comment is that the league still intends to play an 82-game season, which would run the season well into the summer months, and that’s without any COVID hiccups.
“Our hope is to have a full season, full regular season, and to have fans in the building, but there are a lot of things that have to transpire, many of which if not most of which are beyond our control before we can finalize our plans.” – Gary Bettman
It’s difficult to see a full 82-game season happen, and they may be better off attempting a 48 or 60-game season. Since they pulled off providing a safe way to complete the 2019-20 season, it’s encouraging that hockey could return in the near future.
There are a ton of obstacles in the way before January 1st, though. How they are able to create a safe environment and strict protocols will be an ongoing process up until then.
At least we have a date, but over the next couple of weeks and months, hopefully we hear more about a possible plan, schedule, and confirmation of all the details.