Whoa. Bits on back-to-back days? Must have been some big news yesterday? Oh, right. I guess so.
- Yes, the NHL has a plan to return to play. No, there are no guarantees it actually happens. But hey: a best-of-five series with the Panthers. [LHH | Newsday | Neil Best on an imperfect solution]
- What does all of that mean for the Islanders? Arthur Staple answers some of the early questions.
How does the draft lottery proposal affect the Islanders?
Let’s just say there’s even more incentive for them to beat the Panthers. Under the two-phase lottery, the Islanders could be one of the eight play-in losers picking somewhere in the top 15 — and if that pick isn’t in the top three, their first-rounder transfers to the Senators as part of the Pageau trade. So, the difference between surrendering a pick that’s somewhere between 8-15 and a pick that’s in the back half of the first round is that series with Florida.
Of course, the Islanders have a chance to win the lottery and select star-in-the-making Alexis Lafreniere, but a lot has to go right (wrong, first, then right) for that to happen.
- Any Gary Bettman press conference will invariably include a question about the Islanders arena situation while a bunch of media from outside of New York simply roll their eyes and wait their turn. This time, the commish says the Belmont arena should meet its target date. [Newsday]
- Had enough Islanders Dynasty Birthday articles yet? I didn’t think so. Bob Bourne says that team has never gotten the credit it deserved as one of the NHL’s best ever [The Score] | NHL.com’s Dan Rosen has another oral history of the 79-80 club that includes Bourne, Chico Resch and many more.
- Podcasts! Andrew Gross and Newsday colleague Colin Stephenson talk about the Return to Play plan. | And Staple talks to the one-and-only Jiggs McDonald about his amazing career.
A Little More
- So, we know the NHL’s plan. Now what...? [Pierre Lebrun at The Athletic]
“Here’s the situation in a nutshell: we couldn’t be in a place in which somebody said on July 16, ‘OK, you can start playing in 10 days’ and have no plans, and no reservations and players not ready and all the rest of it,” Fehr told The Athletic. “That would mean giving up any possibility that we were going to go forward. And nobody thought that was a good idea. So what we wanted to try and do is negotiate a framework to say, ‘If we can do it, this is how.’
“And now we’re going to figure out all the pieces,” Fehr added. “But there’s a lot of pieces that we need to get done, and you have to do it one after another. It’s like walking down the street. Keep taking steps or else you don’t get there.”
- Former Stars coach Jim Montgomery talks about his recovery and firing. [The Athletic]
- You may remember the Habs 1986 Stanley Cup team but it was their 1985 Calder Cup winning AHL team that made that other one possible. [Eyes on the Prize]
Yesterday was Mathew Barzal’s birthday. Celebrate by watching five minutes of his best moments from this season. He’s 23. Dude...