About a week ago, the NHL decided on a 24-team plan to return to play. That’s great news as most everyone on the planet wants sports to come back. But unlike some other sports, the NHL requires some type of training camp so player can get back into “ice shape”. Check out our weekly updated NHL Odds & News on where the National Hockey League stands in regards to its return to the ice on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) NHL Update.
NHL Update – June 8th Edition
NHL 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs
- When: TBD
- Where: TBD
NHL Stanley Cup Odds
- Boston Bruins +500
- Tampa Bay Lightning +500
- Colorado Avalanche +700
- Vegas Golden Knights +600
- Louis Blues +900
- Philadelphia Flyers +1200
- Washington Capitals +1200
- Pittsburgh Penguins +1400
- Dallas Stars +1400
- Toronto Maple Leafs +2500
- Edmonton Oilers +2500
- Nashville Predators +4000
- Vancouver Canucks +3500
- Calgary Flames +4000
- Carolina Hurricanes +3500
- New York Islanders +4000
- Winnipeg Jets +4000
- Arizona Coyotes +4500
- Minnesota Wild +4500
- New York Rangers +3750
- Florida Panthers +4000
- Columbus Blue Jackets +3300
- Chicago Blackhawks +6600
- Montreal Canadiens +8000
NHL reopen facilities on Monday, June 7, training camps on July 1.
On June 7, the National Hockey League reopened team facilities. That’s part of Phase 2 of hockey’s plan to restart the season. Training camps are scheduled to open on July 1.
It’s a big deal. Hockey is one of the most physically-challenging sports in the world. It requires upper-body and lower-body usage. It requires hitting a small object while on ice skates. And, it can get as physical as MMA or boxing.
After training camps happen in July, it’s likely the NHL won’t start with the 24-team playoff format until August.
Round-robin games among the top 4 teams from each conference will determine seeding. The other 4-teams in the Round of 16 will be determined by play-in series. The format should make for some exciting hockey.
One of the potential best first-round series to watch has the Pittsburgh Penguins battling the Montreal Canadiens. That should be a fantastic series.
Also, who won’t watch round-robin games in the East among the Bruins, Lightning, Flyers, and Caps? In the West, the round-robin games are among the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Dallas Stars.
What’s left for NHL to decide?
The National Hockey League has yet to decide on the 2 to 4 hub cities. One of the reasons for the delay is that 17% of NHL players live in countries outside of Canada and the U.S.
The league must figure out how to get those players back first before they can determine the best hub cities. Most players figure to fly into New York, Toronto, or some other east coast city.
Because of that, it’s unlikely the NHL decides on a west coast city as a hub. If we scratch off Minneapolis / St. Paul, which is in disarray right now, we’re left with Pittsburgh, Chicago, Columbus, and Toronto.
Toronto and Columbus seems more than probable. Toronto is close to New York while Columbus is a smaller city and would seem to provide a lesser chance of coronavirus spread.
NHL will return, after the league makes final decisions
The National Hockey League will return. One thing that should make hockey fans rejoice is that unlike what’s happening in the MLB, players and owners aren’t fighting over salaries.
Players, in fact, are the ones that insisted on 7-game series once the 16-team portion started. The players want to get back onto the ice.
Make sure to check out NHL Playoff futures. First-round series prices should have odds. If they don’t, they will soon.