The list of 10 has finally been narrowed down to two.
Per reporting from Bob McKenzie of TSN and later confirmed by The Athletic, the NHL plans to host its Return to Play in the Edmonton and Toronto. The players still have to ratify the safety protocols for the modified postseason and an extension to the CBA, but hockey could soon be on the horizon:
If the players approve this plan, training camp is tentatively scheduled to start July 10 with teams expected to travel to their respective hub cities around July 22 and begin play in late July or early August.
As of now, the Western Conference will go to Edmonton and the Eastern Conference will go to Toronto, according to sources.
Previous concerns about having a team play in its home arena were no longer deemed relevant because there are no fans in stands and “home” teams will be in the NHL bubble anyway. Evidently, the Edmonton bubble will have an actual wall erected around it.
The recent rise in positive coronavirus cases around the United States, but specifically in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, eliminated the domestic options for the hub cities, which is why the league went with two Canadian options. Vancouver was not on board with the NHL’s coronavirus protocols, though it’s worth noting that Vancouver and British Columbia as a whole have been quite successful at navigating the pandemic.
Thus ends the decade-long streak of Los Angeles hosting playoff hockey in even years.
On to the links...
- Missed this earlier this week, but Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti gave his immediate thoughts to winning the no. 2 pick. (start at the 8:00 mark, Luc Robitaille comes in at 23:00)
- Rob Blake says the NHL still doesn’t know if eliminated teams will be able to hold training/development camps.
- From Defending Big D, a look at how we talk about depression and suicide in sports.
- L.A. Kings Insider went through the history of recent no. 2 picks.
- Matt Dumba spoke to ESPN about the Hockey Diversity Alliance.
- Meredith Foster of The Ice Garden had a really interesting interview with two Team Trans players.
- The NHL still plans to pay out signing bonuses that were due for the 2020-21 season today. The Kings owe about $2.3 million in signing bonuses, per Cap Friendly, the majority to Drew Doughty.
- Scott Wheeler ranked each team’s best and worst draft classes from the last 20 years.
- Lisa Dillman took an early look at who the Kings will protect during next year’s expansion draft.