The NHL has released its plan to return to the ice for a modified version of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In this scenario teams will be able to start practicing in their facilities in early June.
The NHL plans involve 24 teams playing in two cities, one for the Western Conference and one for the Eastern Conference. There are currently ten cities under consideration.
10 cities are being considered for the two hub city spots that will host the Stanley Cup Playoffs. pic.twitter.com/bMLxSCvpRW— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) May 26, 2020
You may notice the list includes five NFL cities, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. All these cities put their names in the hat, and have plans to handle the housing, practicing, game sites and comprehensive testing already in the works.
This time last year the Steelers were preparing for OTA number four right now. June would normally start the mandatory camps leading up to training camp in July. The Hall of Fame game is scheduled for August 6th, more than two months away.
Phase 2 (team practices) of the NHL plan will start in early June. By early July, they hope to start phase 3 which consists of formal training camps.
Even for those of us that don’t care at all about the NHL, it will be important to watch the progress and setbacks the NHL plan goes through as the NFL will be looking to follow with their own activities shortly after the NHL.
The good news here is that Pittsburgh is already planning ways to host sports safely, and if everything goes well with the NHL’s plan, we could hopefully see NFL teams starting up soon after.
You can see NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s presentation in the video below.