Gentlemen, we are in mid-May now. So, to what extent is the NHL about to resume phase 2 of its plan, which will be the return of the players? And Dregs, what kind of rules will be in place when they do?
Dreger: Well, look. Let’s start at the beginning of the question. It is impossible to identify a real delay. Of course, hope is later this month. Some clubs are optimistic about what could happen in terms of launching phase 2. There are other teams around the NHL who are much more pessimistic, especially given the resurgence of cases in Russia. But a lot of work is done on the protocol between the NHL, the Players’ Association and the Return to Play committee. Now, part of the Phase 2 protocol is pretty obvious. These are little things that bring people together. It is a social distancing. The players are expected to return to their home clubs. It’s a small, dedicated team that works on training and not. It is a strict disinfection protocol. All of this could be decided and determined and agreed to at some point this week. This could drift next week.
In addition to the draft, another tradition in June would be the selection and announcement of the Hockey Hall of Fame class. Is it going as planned, Pierre?
The brown: It’s actually going forward. On June 23 and 24, the selection committee will meet virtually, of course, of course. It will be a first in the history of the Hall. So we’ll have an announcement on June 24 for the 2020 class. But what about the induction itself scheduled for November 16? Obviously, it could be postponed. When you think about the importance of the Hall of Fame game for this weekend. Well, if the NHL doesn’t come back until December of next season, as we’ve reported, then I think the Hall of Fame will probably delay their induction. Especially with concerns about large gatherings. When exactly? They don’t know it yet and I don’t think they want to make a decision. Until summer. Now, as for this year’s class? It should be remembered that Jerome Iginla is an eligible first-year player who comes off the list. And of course you have a long list of players who have grown over the years from (Daniel) Alfredsson, to (Alex) Mogilny, to Kevin Lowe, to Doug Wilson to Sergei Gonchar. It’s up to Bob McKenzie and the selection committee to determine this next month.
A junior hockey team declaring bankruptcy. Is this a unique situation or a real and potential sign of the times and problems for the CHL?
McKenzie: Well, it could be both in the long run. In the short term, the news that the Portland Winterhawks were in bankruptcy was a huge shock to the Western Hockey League and all of junior hockey. It is one of the most affluent franchises. Or at least, historically, has been one of the most successful on the ice. One of the most successful ice cream. But this bankruptcy has more to do with owner Bill Gallacher’s problems in the oil and gas industry and having to file Chapter 11 for his parent company than with the Winterhawks. Now listen. Junior hockey has to put people in the stands for people to see the games and for junior hockey to be successful. If there are no fans in the stands for 2021, there may not be any junior hockey to speak of that could have a significant financial impact on many owners. But, for now, it’s unique.