NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had a lot to say this week about re-starting the NHL season.
In an interview with Ron McLean on Sportsnet, Bettman laid out his vision to finish the regular season and then have the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
All NHL teams are to be self quarantined until April 30th, and there has been no indication that the quarantine will continue into the month of May.
Bettman’s plan is to have players work out at the team training facilities as a first step to a re-start.
After the individual workouts are completed, teams would move to phase two which is training camp.
The league is considering a four-arena plan for a potential summer restart after the training camps. The NHL is looking at four arenas, one in each division to host games to finish up the season.
The plan to hold regular season and playoff games in non NHL markets and non NHL arenas appears to be extinct as the commissioner said that these arenas could not support an NHL game from a back end standpoint.
The number of locker rooms needed, the video technology, The broadcast equipment needed would not be up to the NHL standards at these minor league and college arenas.
As reported in the New York Post, the NHL is also considering expanding the rosters to 30 players.
Right now Columbus, Raleigh, Sunrise, Tampa, Minnesota, Colorado ,Dallas, Calgary, Edmonton and possibly Las Vegas are all in play to host games.
Bettman went on to say “Anything we’re considering doing starts with health and well-being, whether it’s the players, or other personnel or fans or the community at large. Everybody is going through a tough time.”
“We’re hopeful that by doing the right things in the short term, that we’re able to come back and hopefully complete this season on some basis that is fair and has integrity.”
The three games a day that would be played at each of the four selected arenas raises the issue of the ice which will be difficult to maintain During the summer months.
On admitting fans to the games, Bettman said that the league would listen to “medical people and government leaders.”
“I think there will be some social distancing for a while. I think there’ll be masks, Purell, lots of things.”