Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Matrix: NHL 2012-13

All signs are pointing to the 2012-13 schedule beginning no earlier than Saturday, January 19, and speculation remains that the Flyers' season opener will be an afternoon home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

However, no official action on the schedule can be taken until both the league and union agree to the Memorandum of Understanding and officially lend their signatures to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The NHL has called for a press conference on Wednesday afternoon in New York, presumably to announce its ratification. The NHLPA is expected to take as long as Saturday before announcing its support. Should that occur, training camps are presumed to begin next Sunday.

What is known now is what TSN of Canada's Bob McKenzie tweeted earlier this afternoon: "In a 48-game schedule, there'll be no play between conferences. East plays East and West plays West. But here's the schedule matrix for 48: Each team plays: 4 games vs. two Divisional opponents (8); 5 games vs. two divisional opponents (10); 3 games vs 10 Conference rivals (30)." 

There was a similar unbalanced, inter-conference only schedule which was created for the lockout-shortened 1995 season, which began on January 20 and ended May 3 of that year. 

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly just confirmed that a schedule will not be released until the end of this week at the earliest.

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