Former NHL All Star fighter John Scott set off Twitter with this tweet yesterday.
Just got word that the NHL camps will begin again June 1... European players are coming back soon #breaking— John Scott (@johnscott_32) April 24, 2020
This morning Irfaan Gaffar added to the return buzz.
Sounds like a number of players from different teams around the league have been told to be back in their respective cities no later than mid-May. Not sure how this works but some maybe be doing “informal” skates in late May early June leading into a possible NHL camp.— Irfaan Gaffar (@irfgaffar) April 25, 2020
Satiar Shah of Sportsnet then chimed in.
Heard some teams are starting to prepare as if games will be played around July/August https://t.co/9sGwvwyr9a— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) April 25, 2020
Larry Brooks of the New York Post then provided details of the preparations.
Brooks is reporting that the NHL has formed a Return to Play Committee that involves both NHL and NHLPA officials plus active NHL players John Tavares, Connor McDavid, James van Riemsdyk and Ron Hainsey.
They are considering everything including expanded rosters for teams to allow for Covid-19 roster deletions that occur once the season is restarted.
It also appears that Edmonton is now out of the mix as one of the neutral sites for NHL games. I wonder if this puts Vancouver now as a front runner as a neutral site assuming Dr. Bonnie Henry eventually provides her seal of approval?
Brooks reports that Toronto and Columbus are now the top two front-runners to be designated as host cities for the resumption of NHL play.
Brooks also says that NHL teams would hold their training camps for about three weeks at their assigned centralized locations prior to the resumption of play.
If the NHL can safely restart and complete their season it will certainly be a welcome distraction from their current reality for hockey fans.