Justin Williams said he wanted players to understand the importance of being responsible and taking care of themselves away from the rink before traveling to the hub city for the start of phase 4 of the return to NHL game.
“We have touched on this subject and we will also do so in the coming days, certainly at the start of training camp, that you need to tighten the bubble of the people you are dating,” said Williams. “You have to make sure your inner circle is damn small because what you do affects everyone. That’s pretty much the basis of what a team is anyway; you are only as strong as your weakest link, but at this point your weakest link can destroy your entire team. Guys should be aware of this, and we will make sure everyone is. ”
Williams said he and the rest of the Hurricanes will not hesitate to let a player know if they are not doing what is on the ice right away.
Video: Latest news and notes from Elliotte
“This is absolutely essential,” said Williams. “Is it going to be worth what you’re trying to do off the ice?” We hope to have a little over two months that we plan to play hockey. I think you can sacrifice everything you have to do in extracurriculars to win a Stanley Cup. At the end of the day, you hand out the Stanley Cup. It’s not just going out and playing exhibition matches. It is legitimate. That’s why you play. It’s a unique circumstance, obviously, but at the same time you can get the Stanley Cup, and nobody can take it away from you. Yeah, [if] I see something, [if] someone else sees something, let’s call them, absolutely. ”
The training camp, which is part of phase 3 of the return to play plan, will begin on July 13.
When Phase 4, the resumption of play, begins August 1, the Hurricanes, who were 38-25-5 (percentage 0.596 points) before the NHL stopped the season on March 12 due to concerns about the coronavirus , will be the No. 6 seeded in the Eastern Conference during the Stanley Cup qualifiers. They will face the New York Rangers (37-28-5, .564), seeded No. 11, in a series among the best of 5.
The winner will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the loser will have a chance at No. 1 choice in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in the second phase of the NHL Entry Lottery.
“One of the things you have to remember is that we are on the same ground [entering training camp] Said Williams. The coaches are not going to come and start killing us. It’s going to be a gradual increase in time on the ice. Instead of skating three, four times, you can go up to five or six times just to get your hands back, get your feet back and get more used to your system, and then refresh your memory of the game. intend to play the game.
“Really, leadership is going to be a huge key to the return of these teams and the best leaders, I think, will have [the] best success. ”
Williams also said he was not concerned with the lives of players during Phase 4, when they will remain in secure areas which will include hotels, restaurants, training facilities and the arena where the events will take place. exhibition, qualification and post-season matches.
Each person in the secure area will be tested daily for COVID-19 and will undergo symptom screening and temperature controls.
“I don’t think it’s like Tom Hanks is alone on an island,” said Williams, referring to the movie “Cast Away”. “We have 20 guys we hang out with all the time and I never get bored with these personalities, I’ll tell you. It won’t hit your head against the wall. We will be spending a lot of time together. We will watch hockey games together. I mean, is it ideal? No.
“But one of the good things about this potential new CBA and this comeback is that once we qualify for the conference finals, we can see our families. This is what you care about spending a lot of time away from. You want to go home. There is no place like home. It is what it is. I don’t think it will be a problem. ”