Life in the NHL bubble is really starting to come into focus.
Late Thursday night, the NHL announced myriad details about how it will conduct Phase 4 of its return-to-play plan, also known as the Stanley Cup playoffs. Remaining teams over the next few days are departing for the host cities, Toronto and Edmonton, where they hope to spend the next couple of months on the quest to win the Cup.
In addition to sharing details on crucial aspects of the return, like COVID-19 testing, the NHL also revealed what it will look and sound like when games are played in front of no fans in the two arenas.
The league released this rendering of what games will look like in Edmonton’s Rogers Place.
A couple of interesting things to note about this image:
— Unsurprisingly, the NHL is going with a neutral logo at center ice, and if we’re being honest, that Stanley Cup logo looks awesome.
— You might not be able to see it in the image, but in high-res versions of this photo, you can see above the Chicago net a sign that reads “#WeSkateForEquality,” which is part of the league’s social justice initiative for the playoffs.
The NHL will also have team-specific plans for in-game “entertainment,” with each team’s various goal horns, goal songs and in-arena music being played when they’re the designated home teams. According to Thursday’s announcement, the exhibition games will be relatively subdued, and the real presentation begins when the actual round-robin and play-in series begin.