In these times of great uncertainty, it’s refreshing to hear a few positive thoughts on the sunny days to come. Not much is known with regards to the re-start of sports, but New York Islanders President Lou Lamoriello is ‘extremely optimistic’ that the 2019-2020 NHL season will indeed resume at some point.
“I’m extremely optimistic that we will play at some time as far as this season,” Lamoriello told Newsday on Thursday. “Whether it’s in June, whether it’s in July, whether it’s in August, I’m not thinking about that. I’m just thinking, in my mind, knowing that we will play and using this time to get ready for that.”
Lamoriello said Barry Trotz’s coaching staff and the training staff has been in constant communication with the players to monitor their workouts.
“The other thing they have to work on is staying convinced that we’re going to play and keeping themselves motivated in a way that they don’t wait until the last minute,” Lamoriello said.”
Lamoriello acknowledged, at some point, it may become too late to restart this season.
“Without question,” Lamoriello said. “But I think Gary Bettman and his complete staff and the hockey people certainly are aware of all of that. And all of that is talked about daily in many contingency plans. I’ll leave that up to them to do that. We all, individually, have our own idea of when and where the last day is. Right now, that’s not the thought process. Right now, the thought process is using this time as productively as possible to be as ready as possible.”
The league has been discussing a number of options for the restart of the season, if and when that day comes. On Tuesday, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun discussed on Insider Trading about the NHL potentially playing the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in centralized cities.
Last week NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly reaffirmed that the league believes it can play games this summer. “We think if we were required to, we might have the ability to play in August. If we have to fit games in, we’ll find ways to fit games in.”
It was also reported earlier last week that the NHL asked all 31 teams to provide available home dates for the month of August.
Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan told the media on a conference call on Monday that he would “ideally” like the team to play some regular-season games prior to heading into the postseason, but wouldn’t mind if the league goes straight into the playoffs if able.
By Jon Sorensen