It has recently been reported that the New York Rangers and other playoff teams will start traveling to hub cities on July 23 or 24 before they play one exhibition game. After that, the 2019-20 Stanley Cup playoffs will begin on July 30 which will feature the qualifying rounds, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Despite was has happened recently with COVID-19, the NHL GM’s had a conference call on Saturday where they reportedly set these dates for the resumption of the season.
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Recently, there has been a couple of COVID-19 cases reported which forced the Tampa Bay Lightning to shut down their facility and Phase 2 activities for the moment. Florida is one of eight states that have recently seen an increase in COVID-19 cases reported.
Brooks also listed some other parameters for returning to play:
- Teams will be permitted to bring 30 skaters plus an unlimited number of goaltenders to camp, and 28 skaters plus unlimited goaltenders for the tournament. Players on Injured Reserve do not count against limits.
Team GM’s and coaches are permitted on Monday to watch Phase 2 on-ice sessions.
Social distancing rules discussed and reaffirmed.
Hub cities will be selected “within the next week or so.”
The last piece was originally thought to be announced on Monday, but recent numbers may have the NHL re-thinking their hub city selections.
Canada will likely get one hub, as the Canadian federal government has approved the NHL’s proposal of a cohort quarantine, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday. The cohort quarantine would keep players separate from the general public, rather than require players to isolate individually for the two-week period. The cohort quarantine would involve regular screening. It would be crucial that the directives of medical officers are closely followed so that the system has the best chance of working, according to Freeland.
There are also rumblings from Canada that they should be allowed to host both hubs, citing the rise in COVID-19 numbers. Las Vegas has long been considered a frontrunner to be one of the hub cities, but when comparing the virus spread in the U.S. to that of Canada, many in Canada, such as Luke Fox of Sportsnet Canada, feel that the league must now consider two Canadian cities as hubs.
Regardless of where they play, we now have a date to circle on the calendar for the resumption of New York Ranger hockey.