The NHL has their eyes set on an 82-game 2020-21 regular season and a Dec. 1 start date is looking less likely, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Athletic.

Daly joined Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun on their Two-Man Advantage podcast and the trio had lots to talk about when it comes to next season.

“We have to focus on what next season looks like, and that’s going to be an enormous challenge again, and it’s going to be a totally different challenge than the one we’re just trying to complete right now,” Daly said from Edmonton, where he’s in the bubble attending games. “We’re going to take our time, we’re going to gather as many data points as we can, whether it be from how professional football looks this fall, how collegiate athletics look this fall, both football and hockey, and maybe to some extent basketball.

“I think there are always ways to play. I think what you choose to do in terms of playing is really the more complicated question. How do you put on a season? We remain certainly intent on trying to have an 82-game regular season. Whether that’s possible or not is yet to be seen.”

The league has lots to work through and Daly said another bubble might not be an ideal situation. And to be fair, I can’t blame him for saying that. The bubble has worked tremendously this season with NHL players being holed up in Edmonton and Toronto for a few months, but over the course of an 82-game season it’s arguably far too much to ask for players and staff to leave their families and partners behind.

On top of that, there’s the issue of the border, which remains closed and will likely be for the foreseeable future. As we saw with the MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays, the Canadian government didn’t allow the Jays to have home games in Toronto due to the volume of people coming in and out of the city.

“There’s no doubt what will end up being two-plus months in a secure zone with no interaction with the outside world including family members, is very, very taxing,” Daly said. “And it’s not just taxing for players, it’s taxing on club staff members, it’s taxing on league staff members; league staff members got there two weeks in advance. So it’s even longer for that group of people.”

I guess time will only tell what will come of next season.

On Twitter: @zjlaing