The NHL Settles In at Edmonton
Hockey players from across North America are having a taste of camp life these days as they begin to settle in at Edmonton, Toronto. The circumstances are very much out of the ordinary: all games in the 2019-2020 season will be played there, with all teams – members and staff alike – housed in a hub. For most, this situation may not feel much different from a normal game away, with staying at a hotel having the chance to explore life away from home, maybe even the best mobile casino Canada has to offer. The situation is, in turn, very strange for the Maple Leafs and the Oilers, who have to live in hotels close to their homes.
Edmonton’s Rogers Place and Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena will host the best-of-five qualifying rounds of this season. The serious delay caused by the ongoing pandemic has pushed the Stanley Cup final to October 4th.
Making a home away from home for the coming months is just one of the many challenges players and officials alike will have to face. Measures are taken to protect the health of everyone inside the hub, including daily testing, wearing masks, swapping dressing rooms around, and social distancing.
“We don’t get to grab our own food. That’s a little different, being served”, Jets forward Adam Lowry told the CBC. “You know you’re going to be here hopefully for a while, [so] just to get used to some of the protocols, wearing a mask, and make sure you’ve got your credentials on. Some of the things you fill out before you enter the rink, that’s going to take a couple [of] days to get used to, but that’s not anything that’s too drastic”.
Draft in October
Normally, the NHL Entry Draft should be held in the summer. This year, in turn, due to the delays the ongoing pandemic has caused, it has been postponed to mid-fall.
The NHL previously announced that this year’s NHL Draft is “tentatively” scheduled for October 9-10. There are, of course, several things that will have to work as expected for it to actually take place on this date.
The first phase of the NHL Draft took place on June 26th, with seven teams that didn’t qualify for the postseason tournament and eight “placeholders” for eliminated qualifiers. In a separate draw, the NFL determined the top three picks, with Team E (a placeholder) receiving the top selection, followed by the Los Angeles Kings and the Ottawa Senators. “Team E” will be selected by the NHL from the eight teams eliminated from the qualifiers before the beginning of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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