The NHL has announced its return to play format and hopes to get players back on the ice in groups soon, but that doesn’t mean that the season is guaranteed to resume this summer. Some players are still worried about how safe it would be to gather teams in hub cities, including Anton Stralman who spoke with Joe Smith of The Athletic (subscription required):
I think you should be concerned. There are so many ways to look at this thing. I know everybody wants hockey back, but safety has to come first. And it’s a little bit worrisome, I can’t deny that. Even though most players are young and healthy, I’m sure there are players like me that have underlying health issues. I don’t know how my body will react if I get this virus.
According to Smith, Stralman dealt with bronchiectasis in the past and only recently stopped taking medication for it. While he is the one speaking out about it, Stralman isn’t the only player who feels this way as James Mirtle of The Athletic points out on Twitter.
- For those who are looking forward to the draft instead, Scott Wheeler of The Athletic (subscription required) has published his final top-100 ranking of 2020 draft prospects. That includes Alexis Lafreniere at the top where he has been on every list so far, but also has some surprises a little further down the first round. Wheeler gives a detailed scouting report on each of the first 50 prospects and breaks them down into draft tiers.
- The CHL has named Andre Tourigny the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year for 2019-20 after leading the Ottawa 67’s to a 50-11-1 record. Tourigny was also an assistant with the gold medal-winning Team Canada at the World Juniors and has now put up consecutive 50-win seasons with Ottawa. Amazingly, despite winning coach of the year in the QMJHL, OHL and now CHL, Tourigny has still not been able to capture a league title.