NHL training camps, including the Washington Capitals’, are expected to open Sunday, Jan. 13, and the shortened season is expected to be 48 games, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.
The new collective bargaining agreement still must be ratified by the NHL’s Board of Governors and the Players’ Association. The Board of Governors will meet Wednesday in New York City, though the NHLPA’s vote could take until Saturday.
“It’s now our objective to be in a position to open Training Camps by Sunday, January 13,” Daly wrote in an email. “And if we can do so, we would plan to commence a 48-game Regular Season beginning on Saturday, January 19.”
That would mean a six-day training camp for every team.
It’s uncertain where the Caps will open the regular season.
“The schedule has changed a lot already,” general manager George McPhee said. “It looked like we were starting with two games on the road and now it looks like we’re starting with three at home, but it might all change tomorrow.”
If the NHL chooses to stick with the original schedule, as reports have indicated that it would like to keep as many current dates as possible, the Caps would open at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 19. They were also previously set to play the Florida Panthers Jan. 21.
The second Inauguration of President Barack Obama is Jan. 21 in Washington, which could complicate scheduling matters for the Caps at Verizon Center.
There will be no exhibition games. McPhee would’ve liked something.
“Oh, sure, yeah. I’d like to have nine, but this is the way it is, and we’re happy to be here,” McPhee said. “It’s not going to be perfect, but we’re happy to be back.”