After a long delay, and rumors of a release that never came to fruition, the Big Ten finally announced at least a partial schedule for the 2020-2021 season, with games beginning eight days from now on Friday November 13th through December 20th. Game times and television designations have not yet been set for the scheduled games.
The process of putting together a schedule has been a challenge amidst a pandemic that continues to set new daily highs for both new cases and deaths. Michigan head coach Mel Pearson told The Michigan Daily earlier this week that he received an entirely new schedule earlier this week after having received a draft of a schedule last week.
Some Big Ten hockey scheduling insights from Mel Pearson:— Brendan Roose (@BrendanRoose) November 2, 2020
- He received a draft of a schedule last week, then another completely different draft this morning. Still nothing final.
- Plan is still to start the weekend of Nov. 13.
- Lots of weekday games in the middle of the day.
The Big Ten still doesn’t seem to be in a position to release a full schedule, but at least this is a start. Though these games are of course still contingent on the health and availability of the teams involved, which is far from a guarantee at this point.
Part of the pressure to at least release something may have come from a developing situation regarding the Big Ten and the upcoming Canadian World Juniors Camp. Last week, Canada announced Michigan’s Owen Power and Wisconsin’s Dylan Holloway as part of their preliminary roster for this winter’s World Juniors. Due to the coronavirus shutting down most of the CHL, Canada will hold a month-long camp beginning on November 16th.
Mel Pearson expressed reservations about Power missing potentially a month of a shortened season when the talented young defensemen likely doesn’t project as a major piece for Canada’s World Juniors team. Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato backed up Pearson by expressing his own reservations about Holloway potentially missing so much of his season.