Brad Treliving’s Spidey senses tell him that hockey fans will come back from the long weekend with good news to look forward to.
“I think there is momentum,” said the Calgary Flames general manager on Thursday. “There is no state secret here, but it seems to me that next week there may be at least a preliminary plan in place for our destination.
“It will all depend on whether we can execute the plan. We can say that we are going to camp next weekend, but if it rains, we probably won’t. But I suspect we’re going to hear news next week on two big questions right now regarding a plan for what a reboot might look like, and the project. “
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Treliving sowed its optimism with the same kind of warning that the Premier of Alberta included weeks before he decided at the last minute to postpone plans to reopen restaurants, salons and other Calgary businesses like initially hoped for Thursday: COVID-19 may have other plans.
Treliving seems to think that the league is about to publish target dates for a return so that the wheels can be set in motion for a possible return of players from around the world.
The Canadian government has put in place a two-week quarantine for anyone landing in Canada, which the Prime Minister has said will not be changed for NHL players. Nor should it.
“I think there are discussions going on with the two federal governments in terms of” this is what we think and here is a plan in place, “said Treliving.
“We monitor (the protocol rules) daily and that is something that the league takes into consideration. As you build these timelines, there is so much to put in the mix. So if you want to start on that date, you have to say, “Well, what are all the things that we have to cover before we can get to that date.” The first is the ability to enter the country. Access – or lack of it – to cross borders. Number two is going through a certain quarantine period. “
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With the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, the chances are great that the NHL will be successful this summer. Yet Commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated earlier this week that he has every intention of finishing this season, even if it means playing in the summer and ending until October or November.
You can bet the league will be watching other sports closely as they try to come back, like the Bundesliga, which resumes on Saturday.
In a very different approach, the French Ligue 1 canceled the rest of its season.
Endless playoff formats have been released at the league level, as have opportunities for completion – or partial completion – of the rest of the regular season schedule.
The only plausible plan would be to play matches in empty arenas in a handful of cities hosting seven or eight teams.
A logistical nightmare.
“They still have to go through the Players’ Association and all the different government agencies,” said Treliving, another layer of the league. “Again, I warn everyone that everything is subject to the guarantee that it can be achieved in health and medical terms, keeping everyone’s safety in mind. Everything is accompanied by a big asterisk until you get medical clearance. “