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Carolina captain Jordan Staal says 'it's karma' that Canes could play the Rangers

Sports / Hockey /

Jordan Staal once joked about leaving the New York Rangers out of NHL playoff plans if the season resumed.

And now? Staal, captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, had to do a little back-tracking Wednesday in media Zoom call.

Yes, he did tease brother Marc Staal, the veteran Rangers defenseman, during an NHL zoom call two weeks after the NHL ...Read more

NHL unveils return to play plan, with several details to be determined

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES -- The NHL unveiled its plan to complete the 2019-20 season, confirming a 24-team restart format that wouldn't include the Kings or Ducks, effectively ending their seasons.

The Return to Play Plan, which received approval from the league and NHL Players' Association before being announced by Commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday, ...Read more

Canes opposed 24-team NHL return to play format but are eager to play

Sports / Hockey /

The Carolina Hurricanes were one of two NHL teams to vote against a 24-team return to play format that has been approved by the NHL Players' Association executive board.

Why? Jordan Martinook, the team's player representative to the NHLPA, said Monday the Canes believed an extra play-in round, as proposed, would not only lengthen the 2020 ...Read more

NHL issues 'Phase 2' guidelines of return-to-play efforts

Sports / Hockey /

Expecting to permit its players to return to team facilities in the coming weeks, the NHL on Monday issued a 21-page memo to its teams and players laying out guidelines that will be in place for Phase 2 of the return-to-play protocol.

In Phase 2, which the memo said will be "strictly voluntary," players will be allowed to skate in small groups....Read more

Quite a power play as Ali Downey represents Ducks and critical care nurses with class

Sports / Hockey /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The two halves of Ali Downey's life couldn't be more different.

Three days a week, for shifts that can carry past 121/2 hours "if somebody's a little bit more sick or you get somebody from the emergency room or if they're crashing," she's a critical care nurse at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley. It...Read more

NHL's 24-team playoffs pit Blackhawks against Oilers, creating an incredible turn of events for a team that faced long postseason odds

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO -- The NHL's players union approved a playoff format that will send 24 teams to the postseason when the league lifts its coronavirus lockdown. The Blackhawks would face the Oilers in a five-game playoff series in their return to play.

Though it was rumored as a likely scenario when NHL play resumed, it still represents an incredible ...Read more

Concept of NHL's proposal to resume play is approved by players' association

Sports / Hockey /

The NHL Players' Association approved the general concept of the NHL's proposal to resume play and complete the 2019-20 season, saying Friday it will continue talks with the league regarding key points of the return-to-play plan.

"The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations ...Read more

NHL closing in on plan to resume season in July; Kings and Ducks would be left out

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES -- The NHL is zeroing in on a return-to-play plan that would skip the remainder of the regular season and open with a 24-team playoff format played out in two hub cities without fans in the stands. That would freeze out the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings, who ranked 27th and 28th, respectively, among the league's 31 teams ...Read more

How would NHL's reported 24-team playoff plan look?

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH -- Talks surrounding a return to play are heating up in the NHL.

Sportsnet is reporting "nothing is set in stone," but the NHL and the NHL Players' Association are discussing a plan that would jump directly into a 24-team, conference-based playoff format.

In this expanded playoff scenario, the top four teams in each conference would...Read more

Wild interested in St. Paul being an NHL "hub city" when games restart

Sports / Hockey /

The NHL is still exploring the possibility of finishing the season in centralized locations, and St. Paul might be in the mix.

Two to four cities could be selected to host games when the league returns, and the Wild is interested in being one of those hubs, a source confirmed Tuesday.

During a digital interview earlier this week with Leaders ...Read more

NHL wants to complete season, and commissioner points to fans' 'emotional investment' in it

Sports / Hockey /

PHILADELPHIA -- A 24-team NHL tournament -- play-in games would be followed by the 16-team Stanley Cup playoffs -- could become a reality this summer.

The NHL suspended its season March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak, but the league's board of governors had a conference call Monday afternoon and discussed several topics. Among them: ...Read more

NHL considers 'eight or nine different places' to serve as sites to finish season

Sports / Hockey /

The NHL continues to consider options to finish this season, with the selection of multiple "hub" cities appearing to offer the most likely path to accomplish that.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday the league is considering "probably eight or nine different places" that could accommodate "a dozen or so teams in one location," according to ...Read more

Could Blackhawks make the playoffs if NHL season resumes? One scenario has legs — but some are against it.

Sports / Hockey /

CHICAGO -- The NHL could announce plans to finish its stalled season as early as next week, according to multiple reports.

And if the Return to Play committee -- formed by league officials and the players union -- sticks with one proposal that has been discussed for weeks, the season would jump right to the playoffs under a 24-team play-in ...Read more

Defenseman Radko Gudas: NHL should cancel season because of health concerns, including depression

Sports / Hockey /

PHILADELPHIA -- Citing the players' health concerns, Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas, a former Flyer, said the NHL should cancel the rest of its season.

The season was suspended March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak, and the league has said it is hopeful of returning. It is reviewing several scenarios, including a format that ...Read more

Blues exec believes hockey returns this season, and wants St. Louis to play a leading role

Sports / Hockey /

Like everybody else, Chris Zimmerman doesn't know exactly how it will happen. But he thinks the NHL will get there.

"I do believe we are going to complete the 2019-20 season," Zimmerman, the Blues' president and CEO of business operations, told the Post-Dispatch. "As the commissioner (Gary Bettman) has said, first and foremost is we have to ...Read more

Erik Karlsson doesn't see much reason for Sharks to resume regular season

Sports / Hockey /

Erik Karlsson is mindful of the playoff and Stanley Cup aspirations of other players around the NHL but doesn't see much reason for the Sharks to come back and try to finish what's left of the regular season.

While commissioner Gary Bettman is optimistic the NHL can restart play at some point this summer, the league has not decided whether to ...Read more

Penguins to institute unpaid leave of absence program for employees due to pandemic

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse told team employees on Monday that the team plans to institute a four-month unpaid leave of absence program for a number of employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Penguins say those impacted by this program, which begins June 1, will remain team employees and receive full health ...Read more

Sharks' plan for Nabokov, other coaches, remains unclear

Sports / Hockey /

The direction the Sharks take with their coaching staff for next season will likely have an impact on what the Barracuda's staff will look like whenever the AHL is able to resume play.

Jimmy Bonneau and Michael Chiasson were named interim co-coaches of the Barracuda in December when Roy Sommer was promoted to become the Sharks' associate coach ...Read more

AHL cancels its season, but NHL still hopes to resume

Sports / Hockey /

The American Hockey League canceled its season and its Calder Cup playoffs Monday because of coronavirus concerns, but its decision will not have an effect on the NHL's desire to continue playing in the near future.

Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, said the AHL's announcement will have "no impact" on his league.

"We remain fully ...Read more

Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat are nominated for an NHL fan award — for jumping

Sports / Hockey /

Chicago Blackhawks teammates Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews are up for an NHL fan award -- for jumping.

Their game-day routine of leaping off the ice and bumping shoulders has been nominated for the NHL Fan Choice Awards' best pregame ritual.

Routines by the Capitals' T.J. Oshie (he and teammate Tom Wilson hit each other with their sticks),...Read more