Yesterday we highlighted weekend reports from NHL players concerned and wary about the whole Return To Play plan.
Today, we note New York Islanders players who are skating together and ready to go. Scott Mayfield was made available to media, and he shared his excitement about practicing, wanting his buddies back, and competing for a Stanley Cup. He also said he understood the reservations other players have.
But first, unofficial (as of last night) news that reportedly goes into effect today:
Effective tomorrow, the NHL will allow Phase 2 groups to be expanded to 12 players for on-ice sessions. Those had been limited to six skaters apiece since small-group workouts began in team facilities on June 8.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 22, 2020
- Scott Mayfield speaks: On practicing, on the long wait, and on the bonus of having Adam Pelech fully rehabbed and ready to go should things, well, go. [Isles | Islanders Insight | Newsday]
- Meanwhile, the NHL is “narrowing” its list of potential hub cities and Edmonton really feels that, for once, its remote-ness should be an advantage. (It’s kind of like attracting NHL players: When they don’t have a choice, at the draft, Edmonton is destination number one. Once they are free agents it’s another story.) [Athletic] As for Toronto? Essentially: “On the negative side, health and safety. On the positive side? TV!”
- The arena at Belmont? More restrooms per person than any venue in New York. [Yahoo]
- ARE YOU READY? Phase 1 of the draft lottery is set for Friday. [NHL]
- Speaking of which, a draft prep story that notes how some scouts thought Mathew Barzal was too cocky: “An example one scout used was Islanders star Mathew Barzal. He remembers scouts being unimpressed with Barzal’s performance during the U18s late in the year and then following it up with draft interviews where he came off as a little too confident.” [Athletic]