Auston Matthews Calls For Major NHL Schedule Change

Graham Montgomery
October 11, 2023  (3:35 PM)

In recent years many in the hockey world have called for the NHL to shorten the preseason.

As it stands some teams are playing as many as nine preseason games which many players and fans alike are saying is too many.

Auston Matthews Calls For Shorter Preseason

Among the players calling for a shorter preseason is Leafs superstar Auston Matthews. In an interview with TSN's Overdrive yesterday, Matthews spoke about the preseason.
"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."

Matthews' reasoning here is rather strong. With so much focus on nutrition and sports science these days, the best players in the world do not need as much time to get back up the game speed.
Additionally, longer preseasons mean more chances for players to get injured. While injuries are always going to happen, it is extra disappointing when it happens in otherwise meaningless preseason contests.
Making the regular season shorter would also mean having the ability to start the regular season sooner, a concept that has been growing in popularity with fans in recent years.