NHL News: Update for 6/21/20
Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Daily NHL News for June 21, 2020
NHL News and Updates
Here’s your daily roundup of all the NHL news that’s affecting the 2019-20 season restart and Stanley Cup playoffs. Today we’re continuing to unpack the league’s potential hub city plans as well as visiting items from around the league, so let’s jump right in with the latest NHL updates. Get Free NHL Picks and NHL Predictions for every game all season long at Sports Chat Place.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Dates News - Okay, it appears we have a concrete date for the resumption of NHL hockey, and that’s reportedly going to be July 30 as the tournament’s qualifying rounds get underway. Training camp (which will probably start on July 10) is set to last about two weeks, and teams will travel to their assigned hub cities on July 23 or 24. There will be one exhibition game before squads start in on the best-of-five qualifiers and top-four seeding round robins.
For quite some time, it was believed the NHL would make a formal announcement of hub cities on Monday (tomorrow), but it appears we might have to wait a little while longer. The latest reported estimate of an official hub cites announcement is “within the next week or so.” The delay makes sense when you think about it; the league has been trying to figure out a way to have one Canadian hub city in the playoffs this year, and there’s lots of government red tape to navigate when it comes to virus guidelines. As of now, we’re probably still looking at Las Vegas being the Western Conference hub city and either Pittsburgh, Columbus or one of the proposed Canadian sites (probably Vancouver or Toronto—maybe Edmonton) in the Eastern Conference.
The Canadian government has seemed open to the league’s plans all along, and if there’s a workable and realistic way to do this, the two parties will make it happen. We’ll keep you posted in the daily updates this week as the NHL comes to a formal decision.
NHL Virus Latest - This week, we got some unsettling news out of the NHL as it was reported that 11 players tested positive for COVID-19. That led to the shutdown of multiple team facilities and threw a potential wrench into the league’s reopening plans.
The “hotspots” for the virus are in Arizona and Florid right now, and are mirrored pretty accurately within the general population, mostly due to warmer weather and eased restrictions bringing people together in social settings. Still, it’s a bit of a concern for the NHL to come up with 11 positive tests out of a group of 200-odd players.
Positive tests will come; that’s simply unavoidable. The pressing issue will be what the league does about those positive tests; will they press on or shut the whole thing down? As of now it seems we’re still on track for Phase 3 of the league’s reopening plan (the start of training camps on July 10), but continued positive tests from players could potentially kill all that momentum so it’s a situation to monitor.