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One step closer to Leafs hockey as the NHL and NHLPA agree on Return to Play protocols

We’re still not there with the CBA…yet, but the league and PA have slapped together 40 page document which will define what summer hockey looks like.

 

 

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So yeah, it’s ready, but we’re still in a holding pattern until the CBA is ready as well. It seems like they could be voting in the next couple of days, but we also heard they could be voting Saturday, and we’re getting close to July 13th start date for training camps, which could potentially be delayed if this doesn’t come together soon. I’m going to be optimistic about this, as all it will take is the ratification to occur before the 13th and we’re golden.

So that seems like a bit more than initially expected, when it seemed like it could be 30 players total, not 30+ goaltenders. Putting together a guess at what the camp invite list looks like, here’s what I was able to quickly throw together…

L C R D G
Hyman Matthews Marner Rielly Ceci Andersen
Mikheyev Tavares Nylander Muzzin Holl Campbell
Clifford Kerfoot Kapanen Dermott Barrie Woll
Agostino Engvall Spezza Sandin Liljegren Kaskisuo
Robertson Gauthier Malgin Rosen Scott*
Johnsson* Brooks Korshkov Kivihalme
Petan Marincin

Perhaps it is wishful thinking to put Johnsson on that list, same with Scott, but the rest seem likely options, though Korshkov or Kivihalme might be dropped in favour of experience in players like Aberg or Gravel, even if they aren’t likely to part of the Leafs future.

It’s great that this is an option, but I can’t imagine many key players taking the league up on this. As far as the Leafs go, players like Cody Ceci or Tyson Barrie who are pending unrestricted free agents and might not want to do anything to jeopardize that situation could opt out. Or perhaps players like Denis Malgin who have been with the Leafs a short time and unlikely to return next season. I’ve probably already speculated too much. If a player decides to opt out for any reason, I hope we don’t shame them for putting their health and livelihood first.

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It’s also nice that we know we’ll have a roster to work with by later this week.

 

 

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From Emily Kaplan of ESPN:

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The NHL is now targeting a July 13 start date for training camps, sources told ESPN. If all goes according to plan, teams would travel to the hub cities on July 25 or July 26 and games will begin by Aug. 1.

Family members will not be able to join players in the bubble until the conference finals, a source says, and if teams do not comply with the protocols, it could lead to “significant financial penalties” and potential loss of draft picks.

I guess no Western Conference players will be sneaking out to partake in that famous Edmonton nightlife.

And finally, and probably most importantly…

Hey Western Conference Teams, I’m already here in Edmonton. Hit me up for this.

It looks like it should be an exciting week of Board of Governor and Players Association votes, and we’ll likely see a lot more of the details of both the Return to Play and the Collective Agreement find their way to the public. For now we can take comfort in the fact that hockey does appear to be close to returning and we can go back to yelling about sports soon.