NHL could start resuming activities in May
r. They drafted Sahdiq Charles from LSU who is not going to be ready to play yet and is more of a developmental prospect. They could also use a running back who is a difference-maker.
NHL could offer 24-team playoffs
While the NBA is talking about playing the rest of their season in Orlando or Las Vegas, the NHL is talking about practice. According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the NHL could open facilities in mid-to-late May for teams to start working out.
Of course, assuming there are no setbacks and the coronavirus trends in a positive direction. Teams will need at least three weeks to get back into playing shape, which assumes the season will start sometime in late June, before July 4. But this appears to be conjecture at this point. The NHL released a statement on Wednesday night.
The NHL/NHLPA Return to Play Committee met on Wednesday and offered a statement regarding the 2019-20 season in accordance with medical guidelines.
Despite numerous reports and speculation over the last several days, the NHL and the NHLPA have not made any decisions or set a timeline for a possible return to play scenarios.
Given recent developments in some NHL Clubs’ local communities, we are now looking ahead to a Phase 2 of the transition period that would follow the currently recommended Phase 1 period of “self-quarantine” by Players and Hockey Staff.
The precise date of transition to Phase 2, during which Players might return to small group activities in NHL Club training facilities, remains undetermined. However, provided that conditions continue to trend favorably – and, subject to potential competitive concerns as between disparately situated markets – we believe we may be able to move to Phase 2 at some point in the mid-to-late portion of May. Specific guidelines governing Player and Hockey Staff activity would be provided at that time. In the meantime, we expect Players and Hockey Staff to continue to adhere to the recommended guidelines put in place when the season was paused on March 12.
Another consideration according to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, having four league cities hosting playoff "tournaments". One of the potential options is a 24-team playoff format. The top six teams from each division would meet in one city. They would play a best-of-three series between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to decide a division winner. No. 3 takes on No. 6, while No. 4 meets No. 5 for the right to keep playing.
At some point, we're going to have to realize that the playoffs and this whole situation needs an asterisk. My head is spinning from all the playoff combinations and scenarios to re-start a season.
Just like the NBA, the NHL is planning to return at some point with precautions and cooperation with medical experts. All fans can do is hope and wait for the next scenario.