NHL teams can now begin limited workouts with small groups at their team facilities, the start of Phase 2 of the Return to Play Plan. The Oilers, Islanders, Flyers, Maple Leafs and Golden Knights are among the teams expected to open Monday. https://t.co/szNkK8y3aB— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 8, 2020
While North America tries to deal with an ongoing pandemic and protests over police brutality and systemic racism, the NHL is moving ahead with Phase 2 of their plan to return to play. Well, mostly anyway. While 16 of the 24 teams that will be participating in the playoff tournament are opening, only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers will be moving ahead with this today. No word yet on when we can expect to see the Canucks begin their sessions, but given the incredible job the province has done in trying to control COVID-19, you have to think it should be coming any time now.
The workouts are voluntary now, but designed to get players ready to start training camps no sooner than July 10, according the league’s Phase 3 details. The league still needs to make decisions on naming the Hub Cities when they’re ready to return to action, and a lot of it will depend on how the potential candidate cities and the states/provinces they are in are managing the virus as we get closer to being ready to playing actual games.
It’s still a bit of a long shot that things will go according to plan. There’s a lot that can go wrong, especially with an outbreak on a team. If they do this right, we could see hockey late summer. If they don’t, well... let’s try not to think worst case scenario here. Still not convinced this is a good idea, especially with a potential 2nd waved expected late summer/fall that could be worse than the first wave. and the numbers coming out of states that rushed their return to open like Florida, California and Texas are extremely concerning.
Not a whole lot on the Canucks front at the moment, but we did get an outstanding statement from Elias Pettersson over the weekend:
He’s just so well-spoken, it really makes me proud he’s one of ours. Another great one from Justin Bailey (who could find himself as one of the AHL players kept up with the parent club as a back up in case of injuries):
And finally, something for you to chew on that you might have missed the other day. At least one site is pretty sure the Wild are gonna beat the Canucks in the play in round. How do you feel about that? Let us know in the comments.