As the NHL doubles camp size, both Kaapo Kakko and Alex Georgiev will arrive on Friday from Finland. Kakko was also recently given the go-ahead to play this postseason despite pre-existing conditions.
Alex Georgiev and Kaapo Kakko are planning on coming over from Finland on Friday.
— Colin Stephenson (@ColinSNewsday) June 22, 2020
This comes as the NHL is announcing plans to double the on-ice workout size from six players to twelve players. That plan is effective as of today.
Effective tomorrow, the NHL will allow Phase 2 groups to be expanded to 12 players for on-ice sessions. Those had been limited to six skaters apiece since small-group workouts began in team facilities on June 8.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 22, 2020
That decision is a little questionable, as Tampa recently had to shut down its operations when 11 players tested positive for COVID-19. The entire state of Florida is spiking without a face mask mandate. The NHL is plugging away though. I’d love to see hockey, but that spike has me extra wary.
The NHL and NHLPA also cleared one major hurdle in the return to play plan, expanding work visas for foreign players through 10/31. This probably paves the way for a temporary extension of expiring player contracts with teams. Those contracts usually expire on 6/30.
Since the visas are extending into October, we can reasonably guess what the NHL’s 2020 offseason plans are. The Cup Final will likely extend into early October, with the draft in the middle of October. Visas usually expire with the NHL player contracts, which means free agency begins on November 1. One month each for free agency and camp, and the Winter Classic is the target for the 2021 season to begin.
$100 says the NHL uses the Winter Classic in 2021 as the season opener.
— David Shapiro (@BlueSeatBlogs) May 29, 2020
Or maybe I’m just trying not to lose $100?