Penguins could open in Philadelphia if NHL season starts
By Rob Rossi
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 7:06 p.m.
The Penguins could begin an NHL season where their Stanley Cup playoff run ended.
Though multiple sources said plans are subject to change, the Penguins likely would face the Flyers in Philadelphia for a nationally televised matinee on Jan. 19 if the NHL and its Players' Association agree on a new labor contract.
The sources said a 48-game season would begin Jan. 19, with most of the NHL's 30 clubs playing that day. Games would be played throughout the day as part of a celebration of hockey across North America. Rivalry games would dominate Day 1 of the shortened season to placate the NHL's national television partners in the United States and Canada, the source said.
Consol Energy Center is booked the evening of Jan. 19 for a Duquesne men's basketball game. Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center is booked for Penn State men's hockey in the evening, but the Flyers are tentatively scheduled to face the Calgary Flames at 1 p.m.
A 48-game schedule will preserve most of the previously booked arena dates, but matchups will change because clubs will play only in-conference opponents. Clubs would play seven games against division opponents and a home and road game against each of 10 remaining conference teams, the sources said.
Games are canceled through Jan. 14 because of a labor dispute. Owners have locked out players since Sept. 15.
The league and union resumed face-to-face negotiations Monday and have since traded several proposals. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a labor contract is required by Jan. 11 for training camps to open the next day and the season to begin Jan. 19.
A 52-game season could have started Jan. 12, but that would have required a new labor contract before this weekend, the sources said.
The NHL will not play fewer than 48 games, Bettman said. A shortened 1995 season was 48 games.
The Penguins-Flyers rivalry dates to their respective NHL debuts in 1967, though it has increased in intensity since Sidney Crosby arrived in Pittsburgh in 2005.
In three playoff series against the Flyers since 2008, the Penguins won twice.
The Flyers raced to a 3-0 series lead before eliminating the favored Penguins in six games from a first-round playoff showdown last season.
Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins' reigning NHL scoring champion and MVP, said that loss was the worst of his then-six-season career. Crosby said that series, which featured the Penguins blowing several multiple goal leads in Games 1 and 2 home losses, remains mystifying.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Talented center Sutter is proving to be ‘pretty important’ for Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Beau Bennett returns to practice
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Penguins minor league report: Defenseman Dumoulin optimistic for home stretch
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Penguins fail to land star center Kesler at NHL trade deadline
- Stempniak, Goc embrace trades to Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc