The fate of the 2019-20 NHL season is still up in the air, to no one’s surprise. As much as we wish we had a crystal ball and could see the future, there’s no telling when (or if) the season will resume.
It’s for those reasons that Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill is focused on taking things one week at a time, making sure his employees are being cautious amidst the COVID-19 outbreak:
“Right now, for this week, I told everybody just be self-quarantined and we’ll re-adjust it next week,” Nill said. “Is that going to be two weeks, three weeks? That’s the unknown. … Have we all done a good job of getting self-quarantined, staying away, looking after ourselves or have things gotten out of hand? That’s what we’ll have to decide.”
In the event that play does resume at some point, it’ll be important that the players are still in shape and well-conditioned. Thankfully, many of them are already used to working out at home during the offseason:
“Some of them have bikes, some don’t have bikes,” Nill said. “Some have treadmills, weights, there’s different training things you can do without weights and stuff. Go outside and train as long as they’re not in groups and around people. There’s nothing to stop them from going for runs.”
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
Also from DeFranks, the Stars’ coaching staff can best use this extended break by figuring out how to improve the team’s offense:
Film study: Could the Stars defensemen be the key to unlocking more offense? https://t.co/W4NqyopSWi— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) March 14, 2020
This could have an impact on the Stars’ plans for the upcoming weeks:
Dallas' new regulations, effective at midnight:— Robert Wilonsky (@RobertWilonsky) March 16, 2020
No more than 50 people at gatherings.
Closing of all bars, lounges, taverns, nightclubs, gyms, theaters and amusement halls.
Restaurants can stay open for drive-thru, delivery or take-out. Dine-in is prohibited. https://t.co/Jhkyc3kzaI
Around the League
Originally, the NHL was hoping to pause play for only 3-4 weeks. It’s looking more and more likely that it’s much longer:
CDC recommending no gatherings of 50 or more for 8 weeks. You already have more than 50 people with just players and coaches on each team. https://t.co/g9I1Df74Jq— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 15, 2020
In fact, the NHL is now hoping to get the ball rolling again roughly 6-7 weeks from now:
Update from the NHL regarding player activity and movement during season pause: pic.twitter.com/yeFjII7W49— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 16, 2020
Of course, Canada would have to lift their newest immigration restrictions by then:
#BREAKING: Canada to close border to those who aren't Canadian citizens or permanent residents, their immediate families, or American citizens https://t.co/iLyNSFNqQm— CTV News (@CTVNews) March 16, 2020
Assuming play does resume eventually, the NHL might jump straight into a 24-team postseason, which would be interesting to say the least:
How some front offices think a 24-team Stanley Cup playoff tournament might look if the NHL is able to salvage the season: https://t.co/ZUqj1R78gm— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 16, 2020
Of course, the format is one thing — how it’s actually executed is another matter altogether:
Quarantining playoff teams as a group would be difficult, but it's one of the few potential plans @jtbourne can actually see working.https://t.co/kog7qJlLRS— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) March 16, 2020
Most hockey fans are fixated on coronavirus’ impact on the NHL, but it’s effects have been felt across every level of play:
"Even though we didn't get to write the ending, we still have everything we got to write.”— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 16, 2020
Kristen Campbell's NCAA career is bookended by tragic endings. But the first disappointment has helped her get through the second.@THNJaredClinton with more:https://t.co/CFBsAZQzZg
Finally, after years of being made fun of for simulating game outcomes, it’s finally time for the advanced stats “nerds” to shine:
What if the NHL season wasn’t suspended?@domluszczyszyn will be simulating the rest of the regular season and playoffs and updating the standings daily.https://t.co/Cr6ZEZFtF0— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) March 17, 2020