Happy June 1st to everyone. Let’s hope this is a better month than the last one. And the one before that, and…So, right now it’s still uncertain as to how many Avalanche players are 1) In town or in the process of coming back to town and 2) whether they will start skating in groups of no more than six, starting this week or not as part of the Avalanche Phase 2 plan. I reached out to Avs personnel on this, and basically the answer I got back was “nothing is definitive yet…it is still in the voluntary phase.”
Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return to Play plan says “In early June, it is expected that teams will be permitted to return to home facilities for small group, voluntary, and on- and off-ice training.”
In essence with the Avalanche Phase 2 plan, what will happen until July 10, at the minimum, is what happens in the time just before official training camp, with “captain’s skates” and whatnot. Nothing is formal until July 10 at the earliest.
I know there are a bunch of players already in town, and who never left when the shutdown happened March 12. But a lot of players went back to their normal off-season homes, many overseas or to Canada. There won’t be anything “formal” until July 10 at the earliest. That’s the latest target date for formal training camps to start back up for the planned 24-team NHL playoff in two different hub cities. That will be Phase 3.
Media will not be allowed to engage with the players in their informal workouts. Or, at least they will be instructed by their teams not to do so in person. That goes for fans too. Or, at least that’s what I was led to believe. How they will police no fans from wandering into a practice facility like Family Sports Center and looking at some Avs players skating? I don’t know how that’s gonna be done, but for now that’s the word. It seems like things are easing up a bit as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, with many places opening back up with proper social distancing, etc. (You should have seen a local brewery/outdoor patio/dining place out my way in Thornton the other night – it was PACKED). So, hopefully we’ll all be able to see our local hockey heroes again, in whatever form that is, sometime soon.
Some hockey links:
- Jonathan Toews says he has been brought to tears by the George Floyd tragedy (Scott Powers)
- There could be some tension between the league and the NHLPA over some financial stuff soon (NY Post)
- Nathan MacKinnon thinks the Avs could win the Cup (NHL.com)
- Good oral history here, on the making of the movie “Miracle” (Hockey News)
- Some of you who have followed me over the years already know this, but my father actually filmed the actual USA-Russia game at Lake Placid in 1980. It was for a private company as a documentary. Somewhere, all that uncut footage exists, but my dad doesn’t know where it is. He thinks it’s with the owner of the company, but he hasn’t investigated further. It would probably be worth a small fortune, but the trail has gone cold).
- My dad’s website (Marlboro Productions). If you’re a Johnny Cash fan, you’d like his site even more.
- Schedule of Avalanche classic games to be broadcast on Altitude (Coloradoavalanche.com)