There’s no clear answer as to if, and when, the NHL will return to action after the league paused its season March 12 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The playoffs were slated to start in April. But it’s unknown if the regular season will pick up where it left off or if the league will go into an altered playoff format. For what it’s worth, commissioner Gary Bettman is optimistic a 2019-20 Stanley Cup champion will be crowned.
But could the league be looking at playing games late into the summer? TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Tuesday alluded to such on “Insider Trading.”
“Earlier (Tuesday), the National Hockey League did request from each of its 31 member clubs to provide available home dates for the month of August,” McKenzie said.
Of course, teams would need to figure out how to handle players who contracts expire June 30 if games were to be played well into the summer.
The NHL also reportedly asked its players to continue self-quarantining until April 6 — an additional 10 days than the original March 27 plan.
Even if games go into August and beyond, the NHL still plans to have a full 2020-21 season.