The NHL is coming back. When, where and how? Well… we don’t know yet. We’re not even sure if the NHL knows yet. But, the fact is that all indications are the league is planning to resume the 2019-20 season at some point this spring with hopes to hand out the Stanley Cup later in the summer.
The league is now focusing on selecting up to four sites to use as “hub cities” in a possible return to play and the plan could be getting clearer and clearer: there is a great sign, the NHL and NHLPA are holding a third meeting this week to get a plan in order.
“For starters, the return to play committee has met twice this week with the possibility of a third meeting coming at the end of the week. As far as I can tell, that’s the first time in this process that the committee has met more than once in a week, so it speaks to the urgency of the situation, explained Pierre LeBrun on Insider Trading on TSN.
“Those conversations, I’m told, have gone from theoretical and spit-balling to absolutely going back and forth on detailed concepts about what a return to play might look like. That’s not to say we’re anywhere close, though, to a big announcement. I think it’s very difficult for both sides to come together on a solution that makes sense. When it comes to the 24-team play-in, it’s not for everyone. I think on the players side and amongst some team executives, the idea that Montreal and Chicago would be brought into that doesn’t sit well with everyone when you consider that under one model, the Canadiens would play the Pittsburgh Penguins in a play-in. The Habs were 15 point behind the Penguins at the pause. Still work to be done between both sides but they’re working away at it.”
While we are still ways from a huge announcement, there is a glimmer of hope.
All of this is to say that things appear to be moving in the right direction. No confirmed dates or plans yet… but at least we have light at the end of a dark tunnel. Things are coming together.