The Colorado Avalanche have more interest in the hub city and training camp news than the draft lottery results, which were a little satisfying.
The Colorado Avalanche continue with Phase 2 of the NHL’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Players have been taking advantage of their access to Pepsi Center ice to get their skating legs back.
In fact, we have our second sextet:
As far as I can tell, 15 players have practicing at Pepsi Center.
Phase 3 is set to begin July 10. That’s official training camps, which will be mandatory for all players who will participate in Phase 4, the playoffs. Players who don’t feel comfortable returning for health reasons — there are players on other teams who have asthma and diabetes — will not be required to. The same goes for coaches.
Some news has come through for both Phases 3 and 4. The hub city for Phase 4 hasn’t been set yet. However, Vancouver has dropped out of the race, which brings the number of potential cities down to five.
I’m disappointed because Vancouver would have been the ideal hub city for the Colorado Avalanche. However, they made the decision for health reasons.
British Columbia has made great strides in keeping COVID-19 numbers down. As part of their plan, Vancouver wanted players and personnel to stay in one hotel, travel together, and stay away from the public for 14 days. That sounds reasonable to me.
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The NHL maybe didn’t agree, so Vancouver dropped out. The NHL almost certainly wants a hub city in Canada, so that leaves Toronto and Edmonton.
Concerning Phase 3, that will take place in the teams’ cities. According to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, the NHL will not quarantine players during the two-week training camp. Rather, they will put the expectation on the players to go straight home after training camp.
That may seem like a hefty responsibility to put on players until you remember the vast majority of them are grown adults, many with families. The few youngsters could be placed with families.
That said, if I were a team owner/management group, I’d rent out a hotel with a restaurant and mandate the players who aren’t married with kids stay there and only there after camp. Young men… aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier when it comes to personal discipline.
In news that pretty much doesn’t concern the Colorado Avalanche, the top three draft selections have been set. I’m happy to announce the Detroit Red Wings got the same big screw we did. They were the worst team by a long shot this season, and they dropped all the way to the #4 selection.
I’m also happy to announce that the Ottawa Senators, who were so generous to us, got the #3 selection. Granted, it was via the San Jose Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade. Their own selection dropped to #5. That’s still two picks in the top five, which is darn good.
And the winner of the Alexis Lafreniere lottery? That would be *drum roll:
That’s right. As the draft lottery continues to go off the rails, the winner of said lottery is a team that will soon be competing for a playoff spot. Because, you know, the NHL like to remain consistent.
Meanwhile, picks 9 to 15 will be assigned to the other teams who don’t make the playoffs, and who aren’t the placeholder team, in reverse order of their points percentage. The winner of the first-overall pick will be chosen via a second lottery.
Picks 16 to 31 will be determined by the results of the playoffs. I’ve been reporting that the Colorado Avalanche will have the #27 selection, but it looks like it will be #31. 😎