Are the skates in motion, even incrementally, toward a possible restart of the NHL season?
The New York Post reported on Thursday that one of the league’s 31 teams has told its players to be prepared to report on May 15 for the start of informal workouts leading up to a training camp in June.
“That date is not anything that came from the League,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an e-mail to Newsday.
This follows comments from Florida Panthers president and CEO Matt Caldwell on a Re-Open Florida Industry Working Group conference call on Wednesday that “the NHL is trying to target sometime in July [to resume the season] when we feel that players are safe and we have enough testing and we have enough ways to get back on the ice.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who repeatedly has said no plans have been ruled out or in, outlined one model for the potential resumption of play during an interview on Wednesday with Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean.
Bettman said the NHL is looking at a model that could include as many as four NHL cities hosting up to three games each day. He added that NHL arenas with practice rinks and at least four locker rooms would be preferable.
There were 189 regular-season games remaining when play was paused on March 12. Bettman has said that, optimally, the NHL would complete the regular season before starting the playoffs. However, he also has said that maintaining a full 2020-21 season is a priority.
No playoff format has been formalized.