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NHL NEWS – Phase 3 of Return to Play

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On Thursday of this week the NHL and NHLPA announced that Phase 3 of their Return to Play Plan had been given the green light. Currently in Phase 2 of the plan which is voluntary and allows for teams to open their facilities to players in small groups the league is looking at July 10 as the beginning of formal camps to begin.

Now, there are still a few catches. First, medical and safety conditions allow for it and while not mentioned specifically one would imagine it would also depend on various levels of Government/Health Department approvals. Second, the parties involved have reached an agreement to resume play. Involved in this process will be determining the length of training camp at a start date for resumption of play will be determined.

Current speculation is that training camps will be two weeks at the home centre followed by six days in the hub city which includes two exhibition games bringing the total time frame before restarting to 3 weeks total. Adding the 3-week training camp period to the July 10 opening date brings us to a start date that looks to be August 1 if things progress cleanly.

“Vegas will be NHL hub city for Stanley Cup Playoffs when play resumes”

On Friday night news broke and spread quickly via twitter that Vegas had been confirmed to be one of the two hub cities for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The source of this was Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.

A quick Friday night update because we live in a world where we’re desperate for any tiny morsel of quasi-information.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has put out a story saying Vegas will be confirmed as a hub city for the Stanley Cup Playoffs by June 22, but the truth is we should expect the official announcement before then.

Chris Johnston – Sportsnet | Article: Vegas will be NHL hub city for Stanley Cup Playoffs when play resumes

Is this true? Actually, no. Now it very well could happen and Vegas and Toronto may indeed be the front runners but that decision has not been made (at least publicly) and the Las Vegas Review-Journal article that was pinned as the source of the story did not confirm anything other than Las Vegas was in the running and that an announcement would be made by June 22.

The NHL will announce June 22 whether Las Vegas will be a hub city to host the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, according to a source familiar with the planning process.

Until then, MGM Resorts International plans to keep some hotels not currently open to the public off the market so that one or more could be available to host visiting teams after July 1.

Two cities will be selected to host 12 teams in the league’s 24-team tournament.

Article: NHL hub city picks to come June 22; MGM preparing for Las Vegas’ selection

As you can see for yourself the article that was referenced and linked to as the source of this “confirmation”, said nothing of the sort. I’m not sure what Chris was reading.

Now, further into the article it does discuss some planning but this could simply be what has been happening in all of the cities that are short listed as potential sites as the NHL isn’t just going to drop their plan on an unsuspecting city.

The league reportedly has asked for a nongaming, nonsmoking hotel, leaving Vdara and Delano as the two most likely resorts to house the teams and their support staffs. Two hotels probably would be required to meet the needs of the visiting teams. .

COVID-19 testing is also a requirement.

In effect, the teams would be largely quarantined in their Strip resorts, where they will eat, sleep and reside between being shuttled to and from T-Mobile Arena, which is co-owned by MGM Resorts, and practice facilities.

Article: NHL hub city picks to come June 22; MGM preparing for Las Vegas’ selection