Earlier, the league suspended the regular championship due to the coronavirus pandemic. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke of a possible extension of the season.
Bettman has suggested that the season will resume in July in four arenas without fans. Match venues can be anywhere. He noted the readiness of the teams for this version. The manager said that the season will be restored only on the condition that it will be safe to go outside. And nothing will threaten the lives of players, fans or staff.
“When we decide it’s time to play again, we will have to turn everyone around and make sure everything is safe and that the coronavirus will NOT be brought from the places where the players and staff are,” said Bettman.
Bettman explained why large arenas would be used. According to him, players need locker rooms, organizers need technological things, broadcasters need places and video reruns. All this cannot be realized in small arenas in small cities.
According to him, the league will need four locker rooms the caliber of the NHL in each arena, because in the case of three matches a day at the same stadium, the teams will need proper sanitation procedures. The choice will be in the arena, which will have all the opportunities for training. At first, many teams need ice to train. Because they will be playing a lot of games. As for the training camp, according to Bettman, it should last at least three weeks.
The commissioner also called on the clubs to keep integrity. When the season continues, the competition will be great. Seven teams are immediately on the verge of getting into the playoffs, though not all have played the same number of matches. “Everyone needs to be more flexible and professional in the current situation”, says Batman.
“It will be a critical decision, and we are considering all options. At the same time, nothing has been ruled out, and nothing has been decided, ”– quotes the official NHL website of Bettman’s words.