NHL and NHLPA end recent rumors and provide real updates

It looks likes the NHL and the NHLPA have had enough of the media’s rampant speculation. In an effort to quell some of the recent rumors they issued a joint statement that did just that. The opening paragraph makes it crystal clear that they haven’t made and decisions or set any timelines on ending the NHL Pause. However, the statement provides fans hope that if things go well, Phase 2 could start late next month and allow players to train at their club’s facilities.

Rumored Playoff Format without Rangers Not True

Yesterday, a Sportsnet article was going over recent speculation around the NHL’s return to play. In the report it was noted that if the league returned with with no regular season, the “most popular” playoff format would exclude the Rangers.

I reached out to my team contact and asked if there was any truth to this report. The response was quick, “it’s totally in accurate.” When it came to this specific playoff format I was told, “there’s no truth it.” As we discussed further it’s clear that there’s a level of frustration being felt from people in the league on all the restart rumors.

“Every day the people at the NHL and the PA are going over every possible scenario. It seems every single one gets played played out in the media as if it’s “the plan”.” Soon after our conversation the league and the players released the statement below.

John Davidson(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The NHL and NHLPA Joint Statement

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 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-later 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.

The Return to Play Committee will continue to meet regularly.

Players told to make plans to return

After the memo was sent out that they could move to phase 2 if the virus continues its downward trend, TSN noted that players outside of their NHL cities should consider making plans to return next month. So while this all very promising, it’s still a fluid situation.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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