COVID-19 Outbreak In Edmonton Hospital Doesn’t Alter NHL Plans

Pro Hockey Rumors

All services have been closed to the public at Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital after a COVID-19 outbreak left 20 patients and 15 staff members infected, per Nicole Bergot of the Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, of course, is prepared to be one of the NHL’s hub cities as play resumes on August 1.

The NHL and NHLPA have seemingly put together an amazing week of work to find common ground in the hopes of returning to play – and as of right now, this outbreak doesn’t change the NHL’s plans, per Jason Kay of the Hockey News. These playoffs – should they happen – will be unlike anything the NHL has orchestrated in recent years.

To briefly recap: the 5 through 12 seeds in each conference are preparing for head-to-head five-game series on neutral ice that will determine the final four playoff competitors in each conference. Though the stakes are as high or maybe higher than a traditional NHL playoff series, the scope and logistics are much different.

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NHL Targets Dec. 1 for ’20-’21

Bleacher Report

The NHL has reportedly released its return-to-play schedule, according to TSN reporter Frank Seravalli, with games beginning this month:

The adjusted season has also pushed back the 2020 offseason and start of 2020-21 season:

The 2019-20 campaign was paused in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the league announced a resumption with 24 teams competing in two hub cities. 

This schedule features a qualifying round that will begin on July 30, two days earlier than the initially agreed upon start date of Aug. 1.

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Devils Hire Lindy Ruff as Head Coach

The Hockey Writers

The New Jersey Devils have hired Lindy Ruff as their new head coach, as per’s Kevin Weekes.

Ruff, 60, has served as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers since the 2017-18 season. He will cross the Hudson River to take on his first head coaching gig since 2017.

Ruff will bring 1493 games of NHL head coaching experience — amassed over 15 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres between 1997 and 2013 and four seasons the Dallas Stars between 2013 and 2017 — to the Devils’ bench. 

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Chicago Blackhawks stand by team name; commit to ‘expand awareness’ on Indigenous contributions


The Chicago Blackhawks have no intention of putting their team name on ice.

As the NFL's Washington Redskins and MLB's Cleveland Indians consider changes to their names and logos, which critics say demean Native Americans, the Blackhawks issued a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday night defending their name and intent.

"The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois' Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public," the team's statement began, according to the Sun-Times.

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NHLers In The Olympics Is Back On The Table; That’s Great For Some Countries – And Bad News For Others

The Hockey News

While nothing is 100 percent yet, we’re on the path to see NHL players participate in the Olympics again. This is undoubtedly great news for hockey fans (and the IOC’s wallets), as we will truly get best-on-best hockey in 2022 and 2026. Let’s face it: the 2018 Games in Korea will always have an asterisk next to them because the NHL skipped the proceedings and the results in no way reflected the state of the international game at the time.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that there are winners and losers in the NHL’s return to the Olympics. Let’s break it down.



I mean, no kidding, right? Canada is going to roll into 2022 with an absolute murderers’ row of talent, particularly up front. Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon on the same team. A reuniting of Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand’s World Cup of Hockey line. Ryan O’Reilly, Mitch Marner and too many other options to count. A blueline that starts with Alex Pietrangelo, Thomas Chabot, Dougie Hamilton and Cale Makar. Your choice of Carey Price or Jordan Binnington as your starter, with Carter Hart as the kid soaking up the experience. Fast-forward to 2026 and you add phenoms such as Alexis Lafreniere and Shane Wright to the mix.

Team USA

Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel. The Tkachuk brothers. A defense that will likely be the best in the tournament with Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Charlie McAvoy, Jaccob Slavin and Quinn Hughes.

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NHL planning full days of hockey once postseason begins

Las Vegas Sun

Grab some snacks and a drink because once postseason hockey begins, there’s going to be a lot of it.

The NHL is planning three games a day in each Canadian hub city — Toronto and Edmonton — starting at noon local time, according to a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The Golden Knights will be assigned to the hub in Edmonton, meaning their games will start at either 11 a.m., 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. Pacific Time, depending on the day’s schedule.

The plan is for games to start at noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in both Toronto and Edmonton.

Since Toronto is in the Eastern Time Zone and Edmonton in the Mountain Time Zone, that means six games a day starting in the morning in Las Vegas.

For Pacific Time viewers, an Eastern Conference game would start at 9 a.m. and a new one would start every two hours: at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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NHL Adjusts Recapture Penalties

Pro Hockey Rumors

With the NHL set to ratify a new extension for the Collective Bargaining Agreement, labor peace will be guaranteed for at least the next six years. That comes as very welcome news for hockey fans that have been waiting to see their favorite players back on the ice for several months. With any CBA negotiation, however, small changes will be made that benefit one side or the other—the NHL and NHLPA.

One of those changes, as reported by Michael Russo of The Athletic and explained by Frank Seravalli in his latest piece for TSN, is to the rules governing recapture penalties. Previously, a complicated formula would force substantial cap penalties onto teams if a player with a front-loaded contract retired before its expiration. Now, that penalty cannot eclipse the original contract’s cap hit in a single year.

So far only Roberto Luongo has created such penalties with his retirement last year.

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Kirill Kaprizov eligible to sign and burn first year, cap recapture amended

Hockey Wilderness

With the NHL and NHLPA having reached a tentative agreement on the Return to Play Plan and an extension of the collective bargaining agreement on Monday, a couple of details that could significantly impact the Minnesota Wild were also uncovered Monday night.

First, it was confirmed that Kirill Kaprizov, along with other European players such as Ilya Sorokinand Alexander Romanov, will not be eligible to play in the 24-team postseason tournament, assuming it actually takes place. However, there was a compromise made by the NHL and NHLPA that allows those players to sign entry-level contracts starting in 2019-20, burning the first year of their deals while being ineligible to play.

This is significant because it now gives the Wild and Kaprizov a few options on how to move forward. The first option is to sign Kaprizov to his two-year entry-level contract now and burn the first year of it this summer. 

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NHL tentatively sets August 1 restart date

Larry Brown Sports

The NHL is the latest North American sports league to set a tentative date for restarting the season.

The league announced Monday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the NHLPA on a return to play plan. Training camps will begin on July 13, while games are set to begin on August 1. As previously reported by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, Eastern Conference teams will play in the hub city of Toronto, while Edmonton will host Western Conference squads and the Stanley Cup Finals.

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Blues forced to cancel practice after multiple positive coronavirus tests

Last Word On Hockey

Late Friday evening, it was reported that the St. Louis Blues were forced to cancel their practices. This comes in the face of multiple positive tests according to The Athletic. The club is said to be expected to keep their training facilities closed for the weekend before reopening on Monday, obviously without those that tested positive.

New reports indicate that four Blues players and one coach have tested positive and are in quarantine.

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