Islanders: NHL will reveal 2019-20 return to play plan today

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 24: A general view of the NHL logo prior to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at the Nationwide Arena on January 24, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 24: A general view of the NHL logo prior to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at the Nationwide Arena on January 24, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders fans will hear from NHL the Commissioner on when the season may re-start.

On March 12, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend the 2019-20 season. Since then, we’ve all speculated on how (and if) the NHL will re-start the 2019-20 and what that will mean for the New York Islanders.

For a while it seemed that some sort of regular season would be played to allow teams to ‘fairly’ get into the playoffs. But as the pandemic stretched from March to April and through the month of May the possibility of a regular-season was abandoned.

On May 22, the NHLPA Executive Board, formed by player reps from all 31 teams, voted in favor of the NHL’s plan for a 24-team playoff.

(Note: The Islanders NHLPA Executive Board rep is Anders Lee with Scott Mayfield being the alternate rep.)

And now, on Tuesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is ready to reveal that plan to the public.

It’s Happening

At 4:30 PM ET, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be on NBCSN (and Sportsnet for those of us in Canada) to discuss the plan to re-start the 2019-20 NHL season.

https://twitter.com/NHLonNBCSports/status/1265322530526683136

NHL GM’s have a call scheduled with the league office at 3:00 PM to get the same information the public is about to receive.

How much detail Gary Bettman will get into remains to be seen. At the very least he will discuss the 24-team playoff format and essentially confirm all of the reports we’ve heard recently.

Hopefully, he’ll address some of these other issues:

  • Testing
  • Where games will be held
  • When they may begin (a loose timeframe)
  • Roster sizes
  • If there will be a mini-training camp, when it may start, and for how long
  • As well as any other logistical issues with each and every one of these questions

I don’t expect Gary Bettman to have all of the answers to some of these questions. Particularly when it comes to dates. Things can change daily so committing to a firm date seems ambitious.

Rather, I expect Bettman to layout a tentative timeframe. As in, camps may open by early-July and with the playoffs beginning in late-June.

It’s also expected that Bettman will provide details on the draft and lottery.

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Whatever happens, it seems like hockey is much closer than we’ve been in a long time. It’s not back just yet, but it’s getting close.

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