The NHL's "preference and its priority" is to hold regular-season games before the postseason begins, sources on Monday's Board of Governors call told TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
"Whether that's 82 (games) – probably not – 78, 76, 74, all possibilities mentioned on that call," LeBrun said on Thursday's edition of "Insider Trading."
Teams around the league have already played as many as 71 games and as few as 68. Players on squads both inside the current playoff picture and outside of it have said they want some regular-season contests before the playoffs begin. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, on the other hand, have both said they'd be open to going straight to the postseason.
Additionally, time potentially used on finishing the regular season could carve into the league's ability to hold a full postseason. The eventual – and hopeful – Stanley Cup champion may not have to win the usual 16 games to hoist the trophy.