For the first time since the NHL stopped its 2019-2020 campaign, Kyle Dubas and the other 30 league general managers have some clarity on what a return to play might look like, if not when it does.
The league announced on Tuesday that a streak of 24 teams will start whenever the return is deemed acceptable – the format between the Dubas Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets in a qualifying round, after which they will face the ‘one of the Eastern matches. four superior superpowers.
The Maple Leafs general manager joined Tim & Sid on Tuesday to reflect on how the plans of the league are affecting him and his club. Here are some highlights from the conversation:
About what he heard about the families of players involved in the main NHL cities:
Although plans to return to play in the league have been defined, key issues remain unanswered – one in particular is whether players and team staff will be allowed to have their families with them when they will show up in the main cities, or if they will be »Each will be asked to separate from their family during the playoff months of 24 teams. What’s the latest in this?
Kyle Dubas: ” It’s hard to say. We’ve all been with our families for 76 days or 77 days or whatever, so I know that thinking about not being with them, just talking about my own case, it’s weird to think about it. You have certainly gotten used to operating in a completely different way. So I would say things are changing so quickly – think back to where we were three months ago – if you progress a few months ahead of time, we don’t know where we are going in terms of testing or vaccination or therapeutic applications that can help fight the virus. I hope we are in a place where, as things go along in the tournament, families will be allowed.
“I know it was brought up and discussed by the players, and I know that the league and [Players’ Association] are certainly looking for solutions to this. And I know in the end they will do the right thing, so we’ll see what comes out of it.
“But I hope that, especially as things get deeper in the tournament and the moments get a little more special for the players and everything they’ve been working towards, that at least the players can have family members there, as select as it may be. “
On the challenge of the 24 eliminatory teams, and if its championship would be considered illegitimate:
Given the forced breaking of tradition following the COVID-19 pandemic, any champion who lifts the Stanley Cup in 2020 will do so after following a different path from that of the champions of the past, who won via a season regular and a traditional post. -season. So, would winning the Cup through the playoffs of 24 teams mean winning with an asterisk?
Bottom: “For us, that means we have to win up to 19 games to win, which I think is a big challenge – and I think that definitely puts an end to any discussion on whether it’s a legitimate competition, when you have to win more games than you did before. . For a team like ours, I think that increases the challenge. I really only think about our team in this context, but in my opinion, this is probably for us what we need at this stage of our growth and development, because we know that the challenge is going to be enormous and that the obstacle is much bigger in terms of having to win more and defeat more opponents, and it starts right away with an extremely dangerous challenger.
“… I think people can say whatever they want, and it won’t make any difference to us, our fans and certainly not to the staff and the players. And I would guarantee that the 23 other teams that will participate in this competition will feel the same thing, I think because of the difficulty it will be, with the lock at the end of the season, then directly in this competition after a camp. ‘training. I think how hard it is going to be for players and coaches and whole organizations of power – in July and August, when conditions are likely to be much warmer and much more difficult – I think it will probably be one of the most difficult championships to win.
“And if people want – whoever wins, whoever of the 24 teams wins it – I think whoever takes a picture is illegitimate, especially when 85% of the season or whatever exact percentage of the season has already been played, i think that is frankly stupid. And that’s probably the best way to say it. “
In the shortened regular season, Auston Matthews’ candidacy for the Rocket Richard Trophy:
While much of the regular season was on the books, the loss of the end of the campaign affected not only the picture of the playoffs – with bubble teams not getting a chance to play in a spot post-season – but also the prices of the renowned league, with players missing on the home game stretch to add to their production. Dubas lamented the impact of this last point on one of Toronto’s brightest stars.
Bottom: “It was disappointing, however, with Auston, not having a chance to really challenge the Maple Leaf goal record held by Rick Vaive, and finishing a goal behind Ovechkin and Pastrnak. [for the league goal-scoring lead] at 47 years old. Auston had a great year for us and it would have been nice to see him keep pushing further, especially since we had guys like Morgan [Rielly] and Jake Muzzin coming back from an injury – I think it would only have helped that push to win the Rocket Richard Trophy, and it would have been a great accomplishment for him, and well deserved.
“So that’s the only disappointing part for us is that Auston doesn’t have a chance to go for the one season record from Maple Leaf or the Rocket Richard, but I think in his case , we can expect him to be in this race for a long time in his career as a maple leaf. “
Listen to the full interview with Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas via the video at the top of this article.