Even though we're behind the news cycle by approximately 24 hours, we felt it necessary to update our loyal readers on the impending NHL schedule, despite it being nowhere near "breaking news".
Multiple members of the NHL media took to Twitter last night announcing that the league would most likely adopt a 48-game schedule, officially commencing October 19, 2012.
NHL sends memo to clubs indicating no camps before Saturday (and may not open until Monday), 48-game season to begin Jan. 19— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 7, 2013
Earlier today, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly essentially confirmed these notions in an email to Chris Johnston of the Globe and Mail:
"It depends on ratification timeline for PA, but it’s looking more and more like 48 games is going to be the only option".
Having said that, there is still an outside chance that the NHL adopts a 50-game schedule, should they complete the ratification process in a hasty manner. Sources state that the league and its players union hope to have the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified by Wednesday or Thursday this week with training camps set to start no sooner than this Saturday.
As for how the schedule will turn out, it's speculated that team's will play their entire schedule within their conference, facing off against divisional opponents seven times each.
What we know for sure is that the regular season picture will become much more clear by the end of the work week.