It appears as though the National Hockey League may have just given its players some new directions regarding how they plan on moving forward through this current situation.
According to a report from Edmonton Oilers insider Ryan Rishaug of TSN, several prominent members of the Oilers roster who had until this point remained in Edmonton with the team are now leaving Edmonton after being told to treat this time as their offseason. According to Rishaug most of the players who remained are now gone, a list that includes star like defenseman Darnell Nurse and captain of the Oilers Connor McDavid.
Most of the Oilers who remained in Edmonton after the shut down have now made their way to their off season homes - McDavid and Nurse included. Players have been told to treat this time as the off season, in case there is a compacted playoff, followed by a new season.
This is just one more sign that the NHL does indeed intend to resume its current season and one more sign that there will be some big sacrifices being made moving forward in order to make that happen. I may be reading too much into this but based on the wording here from Rishaug it sounds very much like we could have a jump from the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and even the 2020 Stanley Cup Final right into the 2020 - 2021 NHL regular season.
No doubt this is going to bring up a ton of questions and debates regarding the competitive integrity of a condensed playoff format but now there may be questions about the following season as well. No doubt many of the highly tuned athletes that play in the National Hockey League are going to be just fine, but I am almost certain we are going to see some examples of player burnout if we do indeed see players forced to play so many games in a row without any down time moving forward. There's also going to be the question of a competitive advantage for the teams who fail to make the playoffs, teams that will have extra time to rest and prepare for the upcoming regular season.
Stay tuned for more details.