Auston Matthews among those calling for a major change in the league next year

Published October 11, 2023 at 11:17

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of discussion over the length of the pre-season and whether or not the NHL should look to reduce the number of exhibition games played in order to be able to begin the season a little sooner. As it stands, most teams play around 7 or 8 pre-season games, with a lot of players believing that 4 or 5 would be sufficient.

One NHL star has come forward to give his opinion on the length of the pre-season. He counts himself among those who believes that the pre-season is far too long and drawn out. That player is Maple Leafs superstar, Auston Matthews. Matthews was on TSN 1050's OverDrive on Tuesday and had this to say about the pre-season.

"Everybody comes into camp in such good shape. I've played with guys that have played in this era and eras past when everybody would come into training camp out of shape and use that three weeks or whatever to get yourself back into shape. Now, guys are in such good shape and are training constantly and don't really let themselves get out of shape in the off-season. I wouldn't mind seeing it shortened up a bit. Come week two or three you're pretty anxious to get the thing going again cause of the long practices, long days and you're just kind of ready to go."

Shortening training camps may not be of any real benefit to younger players looking to make their mark and prove that they belong on the NHL roster, but it would allow for an earlier start to the season and, as a result, an earlier end to the season, leading to the Stanley Cup being awarded before the middle of June. A shorter pre-season would also limit the risk of injury to players, which would benefit the league as a whole.

Obviously, an issue like this would have to begin with the NHLPA and the NHL agreeing to sit down and discuss the option and it would need to be voted on by the league's 32 GMs before it would be able to pass. I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing the season start and end a little sooner than it does now - even if only by a week.

October 11   |   124 answers
Auston Matthews among those calling for a major change in the league next year

Would you like to see the NHL shorten the length of the pre-season?

Yes, it's too long4637.1 %
No, it's fine the way it is4133.1 %
Don't care either way3729.8 %
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