In completely unsurprising news, the NHL extended its period of self-quarantine for players and staff to April 30. This is the third time the directive has been extended since the spread of the coronavirus across North American brought the 2019-20 season to a screeching halt back on March 12.
I’m not sure I 100% agree with it, but it looks like there is a pretty good chance we will see the season finished in some way, shape or form this summer... and the last I heard from Gary Bettman, if the league decides to go straight to the playoffs, all bubble teams, including the Florida Panthers, will be part of whatever format they come up with. That format would most likely be a 20 or 24-team bracket with a play-in / preliminary round.
Let’s play catch up with some of the latest news around the hockey world.
Elliotte Friedman’s latest edition of 31 Thoughts is up. While there is nothing Cats-related, there is some insight on how NHL teams are handling draft prep from a distance. (Sportsnet)
The U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League is in the process of establishing an expansion franchise in the Toronto area. A little surprising in light of what’s going on in the world, but growing the women’s game is always a positive. (ESPN)
The Pittsburgh Penguins inked defenseman Will Reilly to a two-year, entry-level contract. Reilly played four years at RPI and was selected in the seventh round (217th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. (Pensburgh)
Alexandre Carrier has signed a three-year, two-way extension with the Nashville Predators. The 23-year-old defender played in 3 games with the Predators and 55 games with the Milwaukee Admirals this season. (On The Forecheck)
What’s your summer playoff prefence?
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Standard 16-team bracket