Behind the NHL's hollow return-to-play plan

By 106.7 The Fan

When NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league's plan to return last week, it gave hockey fans hope that their beloved sport would soon return, fueled with the exuberance of the league's radically re-imagined 24-team postseason.

The remaining regular season schedule officially declared dead – it, too, wiped out by COVID-19 – at least there would still be hockey. At some point. No one can quite be sure with these things, and so Bettman publicly committed to nothing firmly, while grasping at a soft target, with training camp tentatively planned to begin "no earlier than July 1."
The Capitals even celebrated (unofficially) their fifth consecutive Metropolitan Division championship.


— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 26, 2020

There's one problem with all of this. Without the players on board, it amounts effectively to nothing.

"I wish we had a date. I wish we had all the locations," 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes told Capitals defenseman John Carlson on Wednesday. "I assume you're still in communication with everybody, but it seems like things are still moving at a snail's pace."
"Yes, and I tried to allude to that. There's still a lot left to be negotiated, to be figured out," Carlson said during his weekly radio address, presented by The Purple Heart.

"I know there's still a few teams that haven't secured enough testing through the protocols to kind of get us into those small group workouts and to start skating together again," he said. "So that's been a hiccup. But there's also a lot of logistical things that have to come around through votes and whatnot."

"The playoff format and all that, that was great to announce," Carlson added. "But I think it did give a lot of people a lot of hope that we were gonna come back, not realizing that the only thing that had been decided was how it would all play out if we do come back."
Carlson starts at the 22-minute mark below.