According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the NHL has informed players that Phase 3 of the league’s return to play plan, a three-week training camp, will not start before July 10. Phase 2, small group workouts, is expected to begin as early as next week.
Though a mid-July start for training camp shouldn’t surprise anyone at this point, it does mean that the Stanley Cup will not be awarded for quite some time. James Mirtle of The Athletic suggests it could be October before a 2019-20 champion is crowned.
- There was some confusion today when reports from several sources including Darren Dreger of TSN surfaced, explaining that the league is pushing the June 1 entry-level contract deadline back a month. As CapFriendly tweets, this is not referring to the deadline for players like Winnipeg Jets draft pick Declan Chisholm, who still needs a contract by Monday or will become an unrestricted free agent. Instead, this is referring to the initial period (between March 1 and July 1) when entry-level contracts can be signed for the following season. Basically, this extended deadline will give the NHLPA more time to negotiate against the league’s decision to not allow players like Kirill Kaprizov and Alexander Romanov to sign for the 2019-20 campaign without risk of being late to file a 2020-21 contract. Though the league was clear about not wanting these players jumping right into the playoffs, the union and their individual representatives are still fighting.
- Several Buffalo Sabres players were obviously frustrated today when speaking to reporters about another failed season, and like always Rasmus Ristolainen provided some juicy quotes. As John Vogl of The Athletic tweets, Ristolainen believes he’ll be “one of the first ones that’s probably going to get traded” if the Sabres decide to make sweeping changes to the roster. It’s not the first time that Ristolainen has implied he feels like he could be on the way out of Buffalo, but just yesterday GM Jason Botterill referred to him as a “core player.” Ristolainen has two years remaining on his current contract which carries a $5.4MM cap hit.