It’s been about six months since the last time we saw an NHL game – or at least it seems. And like the immensity of space and time, it feels like this break from the NHL season will never end and that we are all floating through a dark, silent abyss, lost in desolation.
Hyperbole aside, we can all agree that it has been a sad six weeks or so and that sport has probably not been in the foreground of your mind. But despite everything, you and I have read the news about the latest NHL updates, hoping that the unlikely scenario of a resumption of the season may occur.
What was once an improbable long-shot is now beginning to appear as a legitimate possibility. We could get NHL hockey back this season after all.
Warning: Personally, I don’t think it’s wise to continue the season in the state of the world we live in now – I’m sure many of us don’t. But after all, the National Hockey League is an entertainment business, and this decision to resume the season really comes down to money, like many decisions in life, for better or for worse.
And if you haven’t followed the NHL updates in the past few weeks, let me update you on the state of affairs updates with a potential comeback of the season.
On March 12, the NHL followed NBA action by suspending its season “temporarily” in response to COVID-19. The following days, the NHL released a memo recommending that its players quarantine until March 27. On March 17, the first NHL player, an Ottawa senator, tested positive for coronavirus. Then on the 26th, the first player of the Colorado Avalanche tested positive, then a second a few days later, then a third on April 7. The identity of these players has been kept secret – although I think Cale Makar was one of the confirmed cases, even if I only read too much (“Personally, I just haven’t seen many symptoms “, He said in an interview with SportsNet).
The NHL’s auto quarantine warrants were extended again until April 15, then again until April 30. It has been suggested that the NHL will continue to extend quarantine periods by two weeks until the potential for a resumption of the season has faded in the rear view mirror. Recently, however, the latest news suggests that the self-isolation stage may end at the end of April, as many states and local municipalities lift their respective home stay orders by the 1st may. The end of the tunnel.
The NBA will begin reopening the team’s training facilities on May 1 in areas where local restrictions have been relaxed. This is a good sign for the NHL, which shares many of the same facilities as the NBA, although at this point there is “no decision yet” whether the NHL follows or not.
the New york post has been advised that at least one NHL team has instructed its players to prepare for a May 15 return to the facility to begin informal training. And then former NHL star John Scott tweeted that he had been informed by an anonymous source that the NHL camps would resume on June 1.
I just learned that the NHL camps will start again on June 1 … European players will be back soon #rupture
– John Scott (@ johnscott_32) April 24, 2020
On April 22, Commissioner Gary Bettman conducted a Zoom interview with SportsNetFrom Ron MacLean, where Bettman said he thought it would take at least three weeks of training camps before the season resumes. So trust you The Post’s source or John Scott’s, which would allow the games to begin around the second or third week of June.
Another problem to keep in mind is the closing of the Canada-US border. Recently, the border closure was extended for another 30 days, allowing the reopening as soon as possible towards the end of May. It is not unreasonable to assume that it can be extended again. NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr said, “It will be very difficult to do anything” if the borders remain closed. So there is this little caveat.
When, or if, the NHL resumes, it looks like the plan is to have games in two to four NHL cities. According to ESPN, possible host sites include Dallas, Vegas, Minnesota, Columbus, Carolina and Edmonton, presumably among others. The plan would be to have a few teams centralized in these two to four places, where there would be several games played in a single day, that is to say as is done at the Olympic Games or in other international tournaments such than the world junior championships.
It is also known that these matches would be played without fans present for the rest of the season. Either way, it won’t change this season.
Regarding the NHL Entry Draft, it remains postponed… or is it? Although it has been postponed for the moment from its date generally at the end of June, Commissioner Bettman mentioned the idea of keeping the project in June, that is to say before the official end of the season. The idea is that the project would take place on June 5 and 6, according to Elliotte Friedman. And just as the NFL managed to draft almost last weekend, the NHL draft would be done the same way.
But then how do you determine the order project, you ask? It will be determined by the percentage of points for the teams at the break of the season on March 12. The percentage of points is calculated by dividing the number of points for a team by the total number of possible points it could have obtained. In the case of the NHL, there are 82 games. Multiply that by two and each team can potentially accumulate 164 points in a given season.
Here is an overview of your last 10 teams:
San José: 0.45%
L.A .: 0.457%
New Jersey / Buffalo: 0.492%
We can then assume that the names of these lower teams will be thrown into the lottery spinner to determine the order of projects.
This is where things are right now. There is still a lot to understand logistically, but it seems that we tend to go in the right direction. But for now, we keep waiting. We all need to be careful about the return of the NHL, as COVID-19 has proven to be a very volatile and constantly evolving situation. Things change every day. Do not hope, but do not exclude anything.
Now, whether it is a smart decision by the NBA or the NHL to rush to resume its respective seasons, it is a whole different debate.