When Will the NHL Return to the Ice?

The NHL was supposed to end its self-quarantine on Friday, but it has been extended until April 6. The NHL hopes to open up some facilities soon in order for players to work in small groups to keep in shape. The question is, will that period be extended once again or it will be as scheduled?

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It wouldn’t be a surprise to see it extended. However, the NHL could be the first pro sport to be back this season, but it is going to be interesting to see if they are or not.

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, hopes the NBA returns by Mid-May. If the NBA returned by then and I don’t know if it is going to, then I think the NHL will follow suit and so will the MLB.

The NHL paused the season for the moment and so did the MLB because that is what the NBA did as well. Whenever sports returns, we are all going to be happy.

If the NBA for some reason canceled the rest of the season, I think the NHL would follow suit. When one domino falls, another one will as well. I’m curious to see where this goes none the less.

There are potential reports and rumors that the season could resume by July. They could play a few regular-season games in July. Then they could begin the playoffs in August and finish in September. They would then potentially have October as the month of the offseason and start the 2020-2021 season in November.

The last time that the NHL did not award a Stanley Cup Winner was in 2004-2005 because of a lockout for the entire season. In 2012-2013, they had a shortened season of 48 games.

The NHL should have teams play no more than 75 games by the end of the season. Each team has played somewhere between 68-70 games. What doesn’t make sense is that why should the bottom feeders even play for the rest of the season if they are not going to make it to the playoffs anyway?

I guess this is for money and nothing else. They can’t do all 82 games at this point. The NHL wants to have all 82 games next season and that is their goal. I don’t think they want to cancel the season and it would be a disappointment if it happened.

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The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in six games against the Boston Bruins the year that season was shortened due to a CBA issue.

How are players going to respond to a challenge like this? There are some teams that will benefit from this and there will also be some teams that won’t benefit from this situation. Some teams are going to be happy they got this rest because of injuries and the others aren’t going to be happy because they will feel like momentum has been ruined.

The NHL isn’t exactly sure when they are going to return yet. I hope they return when the playing conditions are safe to do so. They may have fans in the arena and they may not have fans in the arena when the time comes.

I am curious to see how much money the NHL is losing during this crisis which is known as the COVID-19. I do think the NHL will return at the beginning of June. I don’t think it will be as early as Mid-May and as late as Mid-July as everyone is thinking.

I don’t think the NHL fans should panic about the possibility of not having any games again this season. I don’t think that is Gary Bettman’s (NHL Commissioner) or Bill Daley (Deputy Commissioner’s) vision currently.

Only two players across the NHL have tested positive for the coronavirus and they are both on the Ottawa Senators.

When do you think the 2019-2020 NHL season potentially returns? Please leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on twitter @glennkaplan13.

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