The NHL – and Toronto Maple Leafs – are poised to resume play later this summer.
The Toronto Maple Leafs – as I am sure you are aware – have not played since the middle of March when the NHL pauses it’s season.
Though the risks are high and common sense says that the league should just cancel the season, they appear determined to go through with it.
According to Pierre LeBraun, some important progress was made this weekend towards a 24 team tournament to decide the Stanley Cup.
Resuming the NHL Season
Based on a bunch of rumours and speculation, here is what I see happening when the NHL resumes.
It appears that there will be four hub cities that hose four groups of six teams.
These teams will likely have some sort of training camp (by the time this happens, they’ll be close to, or past, the length of a normal off-season, so this will be necessary).
Once the training camp is done, the six teams in each city will likely play some kind of short mini-tournament to determine who makes the actual playoffs.
You can’t just have a three week training camp then jump into elimination games, so there will probably be some sort of format similar to the start of the World Juniors, where each teams plays every other team once.
The actual playoffs usually take almost three months, so who knows if there are going to be seven game series or not.
The desire to finish this season has to be measured against how much it will disrupt next season. I mean, will this current season stretch into October? Will a new season begin in January?
The resumption of hockey would be pretty sweet, but the NHL has not explained how they will do so safely.
America is opening up in defiance of the CDC and the entire community of scientists and doctors. This is bad news for the NHL, since 24 of their teams are American.
In Canada, the situation is better, but I don’t think anyone would call it good, so resuming sports – while desirable – may not be safe or advisable.
The league is going to have to come up with some rules about safer play, but what are they going to do when a player inevitably tests positive?
Shut down the entire league again?
That seems like a safe contingency, but if that is the case, is there any point in resuming?
Hockey coming back would be great, but the safety of everyone involved must be the priority. In my opinion, money appears to be the driving factor here, and that kind of thinking almost always ends badly.
I hope the NHL resumes, but I do not have the medical or scientific background on this subject to hold a valid opinion. Instead, I will just say that I am concerned, and that, to date, I have not hear anyone properly address these concerns.