It’s possible the Vegas Golden Knights could see an NHL schedule more akin to what Major League Baseball teams play this season. According to Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater, there’s a chance teams may host “home stands” or see other scheduling tweaks yet. Check out his article below.
by Adrian Dater – Colorado Hockey Now
Yesterday, I reported that the NHL wants and expects for teams to play regular-season home games in their own buildings – with the proviso that nothing is final yet and things are still fluid. I believe that is still very much the hope for the league, which would greatly prefer not to go back to a “hub city” schedule scenario like we had in the playoffs.
There are complicating factors for this to happen, though, one being that teams in some states/cities currently have severe restrictions on gatherings/travel/opening-for-business because of COVID-19. Take the San Jose Sharks, for example. Right now, they are a team essentially without a home, because of the severe restrictions in their area, Santa Clara County (our San Jose Hockey Now’s Sheng Peng has exhaustively detailed the situation here). The Sharks are likely to hold their training camp in Arizona, and might have to play their regular-season home games there or another city. Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley has openly campaigned for the California teams to play in T-Mobile Arena.
But while the league still plans to have as many games played in their teams’ own buildings as possible, one solution to cut down on the back-and-forth travel from city to city would be to have what be a “series” between two teams, a la Major League Baseball, where both teams are in the same city for several days at a time. The regular-season games are all expected to be played within the same division, which means the Golden Knights would only play seven opponents in what is hoped-to-be a 56-game schedule.
This type of NHL schedule would allow teams to be in their own buildings and allow players and staffers to still be with their families – something that is important to the NHLPA. Sure, that means the road team would spend up to a week, maybe more, in the same city. But one week is much more tolerable than, say, three months in the same bubbled hub city.
This stuff is all still fluid. The elephant in the room remains the virus, which doesn’t care about anybody’s preferred schedule or travel plans. If the virus continues to rage out of control, hub cities may have to be a reality again. Players are going to hate it and push back hard if that’s what the league says. But both sides very much want to have some kind of season, so if that’s the desperation measure that has to be implemented for it to happen, then it’ll have to happen. The NHL schedule remains very much up in the air.
We’re still in the year of our Lord, 2020, don’t forget.
Golden Knights Training Camp Day 2 In The Books
Yesterday was a very exciting day as the Vegas Golden Knights took to the ice for the first time in training camp. Day Two wasn’t nearly as exciting, but necessary as things moved forward. Here are a few key takeaways from today’s action.
As of now, Nick Holden remains on what I’ll pencil in as the 7/8 pair with Dylan Coghlan. As I said yesterday don’t read too far into things because the Golden Knights are going to need eight solid D to make this season work. For the time being, it looks like Zach Whitecloud and Nicolas Hague are going to get a chance to show what they can do as a unit. Alex Pietrangelo remained with Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore with Alec Martinez.
Today was more of a jumble of lines as some guys get a look playing up. Among them was Tomas Jurco who took the place of Max Pacioretty with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone. Jurco is a guy I love for the VGK because this season because he’s a vet who can slide into the lineup on a moment’s notice and play a variety of roles. Definitely a taxi squad guy who makes you feel better about your depth.
Also, Stephenson is still centering this line. I know many of you wonder if Cody Glass is going to get his shot at the 2C but not yet. Stephenson did look good today, generating a scoring chance off a stretch pass up the middle and showing some speed. He’s skating with confidence early in camp, and I would not be surprised to see him exactly where he is now come opening night.
Finally, it was nice to see Jonathan Marchessault score for the second straight day. If he warms those goal-scoring hands up early, it could be a tremendous campaign for him.
Keep your browser pointed here for more camp coverage!
Tom’s Daily: Handicapping the West Division; Stepan to Sens
Tom’s Daily: Looking at the West Division; Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brandon Kruseand his unusual senior season; Stepan sent to the Sens; VGK fans have a new streaming option this season.
The West Division should be a fun, competitive division this year. At least in the top half. Here’s NHL.com’s look at how things might shake out. (NHL.com)
Brandon Kruse is working his way through an unusual senior season at Bowling Green. The Golden Knights prospect is projeting better than a point-per-game so far on the ice. (NHL.com)
Derek Stepan was shipped to the Ottawa Senators from the Arizona Coyotes, giving the Sens more center depth and eating up a chunk of that free cap space they had. (Sportsnet)
Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be playing in the NHL this year. Or next year. (NHL.com)
Michael Del Zotto signs a pro tryout contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Expect a lot of fringe NHL guys who don’t have deals to be competing for jobs this year. (Sportsnet)
Five questions facing the Florida Panthers heading into training camp. This team could be really good. It could also not. (FloridaHockeyNow)
According to Larry Brooks from the New York Post, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the only major league sports team to receive a paycheck protection loan totaling $4.82M. (New York Post)
Longtime NHL player and executive Dave Poulin is writing for the Toronto Star. Here’s his debut piece. (Toronto Star)
Tom’s Daily: New VGK Schedule; Pacioretty, Lehner Busts?; NHL Breaking News
Tom’s Daily: Breaking NHL news! Plus the Vegas Golden Knights have a schedule and we break it down for you; Bolts find cap relief but it’s not good; more
Vegas Golden Knights
Just in case you missed it, the NHL schedule dropped yesterday and we broke it down for you here. (VHN)
Here’s the team/league release on the schedule as well. (NHL.com)
Breaking News: It looks like the NHL has permission to move forward in Canadian cities. That’s a major sigh of relief. (Sportsnet)
Whew! Gritty has been cleared to return to NHL games this season. (The Hill)
Nikita Kucherov is going to miss the regular season due to hip surgery. While the Lightning certainly don’t want to be without one of the best players in today’s game, it certainly helps their situation with his $9.5M cap hit moved to LTIR. (Tampa Bay Times)
Ryan Miller is back with the Anaheim Ducks on a one-year deal and I love it. I hope Miller, one of the nicest guys in the game, gets to his milestone of 400 wins. It won’t happen this season unless something goes crazy sideways, but he needs 13 more to do it. (ESPN)
The Arizona State University men’s hockey team decided to start the season with a monster 36-day road trip. My personal longest road trip was 18 days and that was a nightmare. I can’t imagine double that. As it turns out, the team wanted it this way. (ESPN)
Are you all fans of fantasy hockey content? I can post more of that type of stuff if you are, let me know in the comments. For now, I’m putting this in here because of Max Pacioretty’s featured status as a fantasy “bust” for this season. Oh, and add Robin Lehner too. Not sure I agree, but here you go. (CBS)