It was revealed over the weekend that Tampa Bay and Carolina were the two teams that voted against the NHL’s 24-team Return to Play format. Hurricanes winger Jordan Martinook spoke on a call with reporters to provide the rationale as to why they weren’t in favor of it. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman relayed (Twitter link) the comment from Martinook that Carolina’s decision was made based on their team’s specific situation:
For where we were and where our team thought we could get to, it hurts our odds.
Martinook was quick to clarify that their no vote shouldn’t be construed as a lack of desire to play. It just came down to having to have the play-in round over going straight to the regular postseason where they had strong odds of making it outright.
If the 24-team format isn’t tweaked from the current proposal, the Hurricanes would take on the Rangers in the play-in round. New York boasts one of the top offenses in the league but on the flip side, Carolina was one of the stingier defensive teams this season which would certainly make for an intriguing matchup.
More from the Eastern Conference:
- Last week, reports surfaced that Red Wings winger Dmytro Timashov was nearing a deal with Dinamo Riga of the KHL. However, representatives for the 23-year-old denied the reports to Mark Falkner of The Detroit News. Timashov was picked up by Detroit off waivers from Toronto at the draft deadline and played in five games with his new team before the pandemic shut down the season. He’s slated to be a restricted free agent without salary arbitration rights this offseason and if he doesn’t wind up heading overseas, he should be in the mix for a depth role with the Red Wings for next season.
- Construction on the Islanders new arena at Belmont Park is expected to resume on Wednesday, notes Newsday’s Andrew Gross. It had been shut down due to the ongoing pandemic when it wasn’t deemed an essential service. By comparison, Seattle’s renovations did receive that designation. While the break will certainly delay things, Gross adds that team officials are optimistic that they will still be able to meet their target opening date of October 2021.