The NHL will compete in a tournament to 24 teams if the authorities allow the resumption of activities, announced the commissioner Gary Bettman during the unveiling of the stimulus package on Tuesday.
The decision will be up to health authorities in the United States and Canada, however, pointed out Tuesday, the commissioner, Gary Bettman, during the unveiling of the stimulus package, an operation that will cost tens of millions of dollars to the league.
The NHL hopes to launch phase 2 of its project to relaunch in June. The players will then have access to the training centres on a voluntary basis and participate in training sessions in groups of a maximum of six players. The phase 3 relates to the presentation of the camps, which would not take place until the 1st of July, and phase 4, the start of the tournament.
The top four teams from each association compete then a round robin to determine their rankings. The other eight qualified teams in each association were to play a series in the best-of-five matches to complete the portrait of the 16 teams that would participate, then to the playoffs.
Listening to the players
In addition to government authorities, the players will have their say on the resumption of activities.
“We will be listening to the players about the time they need to get back in shape, noted the commissioner. If the players tell us that they only have two weeks of camp, we could play at the end of July. If they need more time, we’ll start at the beginning of August.”
The presentation of the games would take place in two cities chosen from among Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Vancouver. A city will be chosen for the Association and for the Association of the West.
For that canadian cities are selected, it will be necessary, however, that the mandatory quarantine imposed by the canadian government to the people arriving in the country to be lifted.
“If our players are required to undergo a period of voluntary isolation, we would not be able to use any of the canadian cities as a pole of presentation of matches, said the deputy commissioner, Bill Daly. We are trying to find a solution to allow us to consider these cities. Hope that we can.
“We are in constant discussions with various stakeholders within the canadian government about this, but we don’t have the answers for the moment.”