The National Hockey League’s restart plans hit a major snag last week. Let’s get to what happened in the NHL, and why things took a backward step. 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 22nd 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
Tampa Bay Lightning players and staff test positive for coronavirus
The NHL had moved on to Phase 2. The second phase of the restart plan involves small group training sessions.
Last week, three Tampa Bay Lightning players and someone on the Lightning staff tested positive for Covid-19. Last Friday, the Lightning let the public know what had happened.
That’s the same day Florida broke a record for new coronavirus cases with 3,822.
Tampa players had continued to live life almost as normal. Florida was one of the first states to reopen. Not only that, but Florida didn’t shut down until after most colleges had their spring break.
More testing has led to more positive cases in Florida. The Sunshine State wasn’t the only one hit by a Covid-19 case surge last week. Both Arizona and Texas also saw rising numbers of coronavirus cases.
The Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars have yet to say whether they shut down their Phase 2 plans. The Lightning have shuttered their doors for the time being.
All of the National Hockey League, from players to staff, appear shaken by what the Lightning announced last Friday.
NHL Phase 3 is supposed to happen on July 10
July 10 is about 3 weeks away. That’s not a long time. Right now, the league appears on the fence as to whether they can move from Phase 2 to Phase 3.
Phase 3 includes NHL training camps. But if the Lightning, Stars, and Coyotes don’t open their facilities, can the National Hockey League really move on to Phase 3?
Of the 200 players the league has tested since Phase 2 began, 11 have tested positive. That’s 5%. It’s enough of a high percentage to cause a lot of NHL players to get the shivers.
The National Hockey League Players Association is 50-50 on wanting to resume the season. 50-50 is way worse than it was a couple of weeks ago.
Cross our fingers for the NHL to return to play
The NHL is in limbo. Things appeared on track to a return to the ice. Now, the league must work with their players for that to happen.
We’re holding out hope that enough hockey players want to restart the season. League representatives believe that once quarantine measures are in place in Phase 3, players will feel more comfortable.
Neither players nor the league have yet to decide on what those quarantine measures will be, though. The National Hockey League must get consensus on how quarantining will look, and they’ve got just three weeks in which to do it.