Compression in the NHL Schedule

With the NHL and NHLPA likely to come to an agreement on a shortened season, it is worth taking a look at what a compressed schedule could mean for fantasy hockey. One approach to measuring schedule compression is to compute the number of games played per week (GP/W) during the season (per team). We’ve done this calculation for 20 seasons including the 2012-2013 season (based on a suggestion by James Mirtle). We’ve updated this post to reflect the latest information about the NHL schedule (Jan 13, 2013):

NHL Schedule Compression By Year
Season Games Start End Days GP/W GP/W*
2012-2013 720 19-Jan-13 27-Apr-13 99 3.39 3.39
2011-2012 1230 06-Oct-11 07-Apr-12 185 3.10 3.19
2010-2011 1230 07-Oct-10 10-Apr-11 186 3.09 3.17
2009-2010 1230 01-Oct-09 11-Apr-10 193 2.97 3.22
2008-2009 1230 04-Oct-08 12-Apr-09 191 3.01 3.09
2007-2008 1230 29-Sep-07 06-Apr-08 191 3.01 3.07
2006-2007 1230 04-Oct-06 08-Apr-07 187 3.07 3.15
2005-2006 1230 05-Oct-05 18-Apr-06 196 2.93 3.15
2004-2005 0 - - - - -
2003-2004 1230 08-Oct-03 04-Apr-04 180 3.19 3.26
2002-2003 1230 09-Oct-02 06-Apr-03 180 3.19 3.26
2001-2002 1230 03-Oct-01 14-Apr-02 194 2.96 3.22
2000-2001 1230 04-Oct-00 08-Apr-01 187 3.07 3.14
1999-2000 1148 01-Oct-99 09-Apr-00 192 2.99 3.05
1998-1999 1107 09-Oct-98 18-Apr-99 192 2.99 3.05
1997-1998 1066 01-Oct-97 19-Apr-98 201 2.86 3.19
1996-1997 1066 04-Oct-96 13-Apr-97 192 2.99 3.05
1995-1996 1066 06-Jan-95 14-Apr-96 192 2.99 3.05
1994-1995 624 20-Jan-95 03-May-95 104 3.23 3.23
1993-1994 1092 05-Oct-93 14-Apr-94 192 3.06 3.13
1992-1993 1008 06-Oct-92 16-Apr-93 193 3.05 3.11

The seasons highlighted in orange represent lockout-shortened seasons. The seasons highlighted in green represent Olympic years. The column labeled as GP/W* corrects for days taken off during All-Star and/or Olympic breaks. Considering that the GP/W and GP/W* for a 48-game season don’t differ too much from a handful of other seasons, you shouldn’t expect a huge impact on player production in your fantasy leagues (certainly not one you could prepare for).

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