Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving senses hockey fans may hear some good news at some point next week. In an interview with Sportsnet’s Eric Francis, Treliving stated he sensed gaining momentum with regards to what the potential restart will look like, and plans for the 2020 draft.
“I think there’s momentum,” said the Calgary Flames GM Thursday. “No state secrets here, but I do sense some momentum that next week there could be at least a preliminary plan put in place for where we go.”
Treliving believes the league is getting close to releasing target dates for the restart of the 2019-2020 season, so wheels can be put into motion for an eventual return of players from around the globe.
Treliving did provide an overarching caveat.
Treliving reiterated that there are quite a few moving parts that need to be aligned before Phase 2 and the eventual restart of the season can proceed.
“We monitor (the rules on protocols) daily and that’s one thing the league takes into consideration. As you build these timelines there‘s so much you’ve got to put into the mix. So, if you want to start on this date, you’ve got to say, ‘well, what are all the things we’ve got to cover off before we can get to that date. Number one is the ability to get into the country. The access – or lack thereof – of getting through the borders. Number two is getting through a certain quarantine period.”
Additionally, any target dates and the final plan for returning, as well as target dates for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft will need to be reviewed and approved by the NHLPA and required governing bodies.
“They’ve still got to go through the Players’ Association and all the different government bodies,” said Treliving of another layer the league is wading through. Again, I caution everyone that it’s all subject to making sure health-wise and medically-wise it can be achieved with everyone’s safety in mind. It’s all got a big asterisk beside it until you get medical clearance.”
Commissioner Gary Bettman stated earlier this week he has every intention of completing this season, even if it means playing through the summer and wrapping up as late as October or November.
Appearing as a guest in a virtual town hall hosted by the San Jose Sharks for members of its business alliance, Bettman, responding to a question, said ending a season without crowning a champion is, “not something I’m even contemplating.”
“I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that we’re considering and our ability to execute them, we’ll get this season done,” Bettman said. “I don’t want to sound Pollyanna, but canceling is too easy a solution. That means you stop working hard to do all of the things that we’re doing, and I ultimately believe that there will be an opportunity.”
By Jon Sorensen