Yesterday, the NHL and NHLPA released a joint statement on the status of the regular season and the encouraging signs that have started to make engaging “Phase 2” look like a realistic possibility. That would mean a return to their team cities for players spread out around the globe and the resuming of team workouts. On the latest Insider Trading for TSN however, Darren Dreger explains that it won’t be mandatory:
The goal is to initiate Phase 2 at some point around the middle of May, perhaps the third week of May. But it is a recommendation, it’s not mandatory. What is mandatory, assuming there is a go-ahead, is that NHL players report to their NHL cities for the start of training camp—potentially that could be around June 1.
But there are others who say that Phase 2 may not be initiated, there is certainly no guarantee of that and that’s all health-related. Important to note though, there will be no agreement on an NHL resumption unless players have an allowance to visit with their families.
The topic of family access has been brought up by several players in recent days, including Phillip Danault of the Montreal Canadiens and John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even with the hopeful nature of some of the recent reports, there is still plenty of work to do in order to make anything possible this summer.
- The San Jose Sharks may be landing a KHL free agent, as a report out of Russia has Alexei Melnichuk set to sign with the team. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, however, hears that though the Sharks are a finalist for Melnichuk’s services, there is another team “in the mix” and that nothing is final just yet. Melnichuk, 21, is an up-and-coming goaltender in the KHL who posted a .930 save percentage in 16 games this season.
- The Rochester Americans have signed Dominic Franco to an AHL contract, following his senior season at West Point. The 24-year old winger scored 23 points in 33 games while serving as an alternate captain, leading the team in scoring for the third season.