Apparently, according to the TSN Insider Trading panelists (who provided an update from their respective home offices) noted that some high-caliber players are tossing around some ideas to get this year’s regular season finished.
Frank Seravalli notes, “In some groups, they’re following along with the rest of the health experts knowing this may take until July or August for the Coronavirus to really have enough people recover and build up immunity.” He added that players are suggesting one way to do proceed is to open training camps in July, then play in regular season games, enough to formulate a playoff bracket. From there, start the playoffs in early August and award the Stanley Cup in late September.
Once the season is over, the NHL can begin a three-to-four week transition that would include the draft and free agency, then start the next season in late October and early November, getting in a full season on a condensed schedule.
The NHL is said to be open to all of this and Pierre LeBrun notes that an NHL governor has already said the NHL has tossed around similar ideas. He said he believes the NHL is more likely to head straight to a 16-team playoff in August and then have an October off-season because Southern-US teams don’t want to play games at that time.
LeBrun said the NHL is aware that if they come back too soon, someone could test positive for the virus and shut everything down again. Waiting is the best way to go seems to be the consensus.
LeBrun added that GM’s aren’t fans of bringing back teams on the bubble and expanding the playoff teams allowed in. At this point, there’s no leading direction for the NHL.
Darren Dreger said that everyone is excited about the fact the players are invested in finding a solution and that the hockey world is listening. Seravalli says the players are in favor of it because it checks off many of the boxes the players are concerned about.
The players aware this is all really weird but that this is also uncharted waters.
NHL Using Its Downtime Wisely
Dreger said that many of the departments are going through what is best described as an “off-season review.” With time to tweak some of the items that need re-examining, there’s an opportunity here to figure out where internal issues might be improved.
Many of these changes might happen before the NHL season resumes again.
The good news too is that no players in the NHL have tested positive yet. It will likely happen, but none so far.
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