Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have announced that New York sports teams were permitted to begin in-state training camps as of Sunday afternoon, but the NHL has yet to communicate to its clubs any course of action for reopening.
“We have yet to set a date on which clubs may reopen their facilities for training and, eventually, formal training camps,” NHL group VP of communicationa John Dellapina told The Post via email. “We are still working with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) on a league-wide plan to return to play.”
The Rangers told The Post that the league has yet to communicate what they can or cannot do, on or off the ice.
It’s been more than two months since the league suspended play because of the global coronavirus pandemic, and the first signs of a concrete plan to resume the 2019-20 season emerged this past week. The executive board of the NHLPA voted to approve a 24-team, conference-based playoff format to determine the 2020 Stanley Cup winner. The playoff would see the Rangers face the Hurricanes in the first round while the Islanders would face the Panthers.
However, the union said via a statement that several details still need to be ironed out before an official agreement can be reached.
The proposed plan would determine each team’s seeding by their standings points percentage when the regular season was paused on March 12. The top four seeds in each conference would receive byes through a best-of-five play-in series that features seeds 5 through 12. The eight teams receiving byes would take part in a three-game tournament in order to stay in game shape.
The play-in series would then determine which teams advanced to a traditional 16-team Stanley Cup playoff bracket in a usual seven-game series format. It’s yet to be determined if the three-game tournament would have an effect on the standings.
Even with the playoff format passing, the league and players union are still negotiating logistics such as host cities, testing and safety protocols.