Save the date!
The Stanley Cup playoffs' qualifying round is scheduled to begin on July 30th, per a report from Larry Brooks of the New York Post. This report coming on Saturday afternoon after an NHL general manager's meeting in which the league's front offices discussed a slew of topics regarding the NHL's return-to-play plan.
Here are other details from the meeting, according to Brooks:
- Training camp is set to be two weeks long
- Teams will travel to their respective hub city on July 23 or 24 and will play one exhibition game before the qualifying rounds begin.
- Teams will be permitted to bring 30 skaters to camp, plus an unlimited number of goaltenders
- Teams will be permitted to bring 28 skaters to the tournament, plus an unlimited number of goaltenders for (players on injured reserve do not count against this limit).
- Hub cities to host the return games will be determined "within the next week or so."
One note from the information listed from this meeting that will be especially beneficial to the Columbus Blue Jackets is the extended number of players being able to be brought to the camp and tournament (23 being the normal number).
With the number of injuries the Blue Jackets sustained this year, there were quite a few "bubble" skaters that earned an extra look to make the postseason roster. So, being able to have extra time to decide on the status of players like Nathan Gerbe, Liam Foudy, Markus Nutivaara, Dean Kukan and more, will be a great added bonus for the club.
There's still no guarantee that the NHL season will resume as the COVID-19 data continues to be updated, but for now, it's wild to think we could see the Blue Jackets on the ice in just about five weeks.
Also...Larry Brooks is the reporter from this infamous video if you felt like his name sounded familiar:
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