The New York Islanders have been waiting years for goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin to come to North America, since drafting him in 2014. The KHL star seemed poised to finally cross the pond before the coronavirus put things on hold, and now may be reconsidering his options.
As KHL reporter Gillian Kemmerer translates, the president of CSKA Moscow tweeted today that Sorokin is in “early talks” with the club to return to the KHL. This doesn’t mean Sorokin isn’t coming to the Islanders (take these kinds of statements with a grain of salt), but the NHL’s decision to not allow new contracts for the 2019-20 season, combined with the fact that next season may not start until January 2021 has certainly complicated things for top KHL players. As Kemmerer notes, CSKA admits that Kirill Kaprizov does intend to come to North America.
- Even though the NHL has released the format for a return to play, there is still a lot of work to be done before teams actually take the ice. Eric Francis of Sportsnet tweets that the talk around hockey circles last night was that the Phase 3 target start date to open training camps will be pushed to August 1st. Commissioner Gary Bettman had explained previously that camps would open no sooner than July 10th, but that may turn out to be quite an optimistic threshold.
- James Mirtle of The Athletic (subscription required) explains that hockey fans may want to get used to this kind of a summer schedule, as there are conversations happening about keeping an altered league calendar moving forward. There have been rumblings about shifting the season in the past to avoid some of the other top sports, including the NFL.