As the NHL works on a return to play and opens up Phase 2 for teams starting Monday, there are some teams that will take advantage, others who won’t. The involvement is voluntary and not every player on every team is even in their respective cities.
But, what about the Canadien teams? As guidelines around travel and quarantines remain a big question in the NHL, what is each respective team north of the border doing in preparation for the next phase?
According to a report by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun (subscription required), here’s what Canadian fans can expect to hear when it comes to their respective cities:
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs will likely be one of the most active organizations when it comes to Phase 2. LeBrun is reporting that the organization is expecting “around 20 players’’ starting Monday, assuming they can get all their ducks in a row and meet all the health and safety requirements.
Kristen Shilton of TSN said the team has already started testing players so that at least 17 players can begin training in small groups Monday and that’s pretty high compared to most teams. Part of the reason is that many players stayed in Toronto, while other players left their own cities and traveled to Toronto.
Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen won’t be among the 20 as they are expected to stay in Arizona for now and reports are have already gotten a good routine going that includes on-ice workouts. Leaving those workouts and coming to Toronto would require a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The Canadiens are not a team expected to do much as the Habs have three players in town. They are in no rush to open facilities but there is an expectation that the team might look at mid-week to make something available.
Another team that has publicly stated they will be opening facilities on Monday, there’s a lot more going on in Edmonton than just letting players get in workouts. Edmonton wants to show they are a perfect option for a host city when the NHL resumes and being among the first to show they can successfully move forward with no issues is important to their bid to be considered.
The Oilers only expect their local players to be on hand when Phase 2 opens but there is speculation they will make ice available to other players from other teams. Beat writer Daniel Nugent-Bowman said the Oilers should have five players on hand next week.
The Canucks, like the Montreal Canadiens, don’t have many players in town. This is one of the teams that was considering sending their training camp to the United States so they are waiting until there was clarity on training camp dates and logistics.
The latest reports are that at the earliest, the Canucks will open facilities on June 12.
There isn’t much in the way of news out of Calgary. The team said on Friday morning that they were still figuring out the Phase 2 plan.
This could be because only a few players are available to skate or uncertainty around the facility itself. As is, they are working on confirming a date to open their facility to players.
The Jets have a few players in the area but much of the roster wants to wait. Word is, those that are not in Winnipeg have decided not to travel yet, so the team isn’t expecting a flood of players coming in.
LeBrun notes that the team is really just talking to the players and getting their take on what they’d like to do. From there, the team will decide how best to proceed with Phase 2.
As you can see, if there aren’t a lot of players in the area, the teams aren’t making arrangements to rush opening facilities. That makes sense. Only in Edmonton, where the team and city are actively working on trying to show they can host NHL games is the team being extremely public about how they’re proceeding.
As for the final Canadian team, the Ottawa Senators, the only real plans they’re making right now are around the NHL Entry Draft. They have a lot of work to do there.
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