As of today, June 23rd, the NHL is still moving forward to reopen the season. Today Phase 2 is set to allow twelve players for on-ice sessions, up from six players.
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
Steven Stamkos probably had the best response to this tweet and the news.
All this while the NHL is continuing to move forward with the selection of hub cities for the season’s return, with Columbus, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota being eliminated as a potential hub.
Dallas and Pittsburgh have also been informed they are no longer in the Hub city process, joining Columbus and Minnesota on the outs. The six that remain are Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, LA and Chicago.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 23, 2020
With the NHL ready to move things forward, it is easy to forget that Covid-19 is still a major issue. Arizona just began requiring mask use in public, and many states in the Southern United States have been getting more and more cases daily, including states Nevada, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Tennessee where NHL teams are based and will be practicing. As play has begun resuming we are getting reports of players being infected.
Considering the growing numbers of infected people, including players, it is strange that the NHL is continuing to move forward with their plays to resume the season. While the actual return of hockey is still a ways off, the plan they have involves a gradual increase in the number of players interacting.
We are seeing this rush to return to normalcy everywhere. It’s why Arizona is just now requiring a mask in public, and why you can still see people walking around without masks in Phoenix. Hopefully, the NHL will be very careful in the lead up to the return to play.