NHL to potentially return in July UPDATE: neutral sites ruled out for return

It has been a long month and a half without hockey. It’s already been a month and a half!? You could have told me it had been a year and I would have gone with it. Feels like a lifetime since sports were cancelled, but hope for return is building. During a conference call Florida Panthers president Matt Caldwell stated while not yet finalized, the NHL looks to restart the season in July.

JUST IN: NHL looking at restarting season in July. Games would be played at 4 or 5 neutral sites with limited or no fans, according to Florida Panthers president Matt Caldwell. On the conference call, he said this plan is not finalized. — Andy Slater (@AndySlater) April 22, 2020

Sure a couple months ago if you had asked me if sports should be played without fans I’d have said no. “It’s just not the same” I would have whined, and a lot of other people thought the same thing. Yet now that there is a possibility for sports again, even without fans, I feel we can all agree sports without fans is better than no sports at all.

Hopefully this plan works for the league and keeps their employees and players healthy and safe. Phil Buckets said they should restart the season in Antarctica, and oddly enough Max Pacioretty agrees. In a recent interview with NHL.com Pacioretty said he’d be willing to finish the season in Antarctica.

“I mean if we had to wait six months and play in Antarctica, I’d be willing to do that,” Max Pacioretty

Six months of no hockey to have them play in Antarctica is a bit too lengthy of a timeline for me. I don’t know about you but I need sports back ASAP. Whether it is at neutral sites, in Antarctica, or in the stadiums the teams actually play in I don’t care. Just bring back sports. When it’s safe for the players and the employees, not earlier. I can live without hockey for a little bit longer, but it would be a lot cooler if sports came back soon, ya know?

UPDATE:

The NHL still plans on resuming but the idea of neutral locations never took off. The reason you heard about neutral sites is because states were asking the NHL to host. The talks did not get off the ground due to difficulties planning televising the games as well as hosting employees and players.

The NHL now moves forward with hosting the remainder of the season and the Stanley Cup playoffs from four arenas. One per division. The Minnesota Wild would host the Central, the Carolina Hurricanes would host the Metropolitan, the Edmonton Oilers would host the Pacific, and the Atlantic has not been decided upon yet.

Things are obviously subject to change.

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