On Friday, the NHL is expected to open up its training camps to the 24 teams returning to action this summer. But until them, there are plenty of new stories going around ahead of hockey’s long-awaited return to the ice.
Here are the latest NHL headlines and what you need to know.
Multiple Blues Test Positive For Virus
While the details remain absent, reports confirmed that multiple players on the St. Louis Blues roster tested positive for the coronavirus. It is unsure as to who specifically or how many have the virus, but it is more than one player.
As a result of the positive tests, St. Louis canceled its scheduled Phase 2 workouts on Friday. They were already off this weekend and set to return on Monday, which is still penciled in on the schedule. It is also believed that no coaches or staff members are infected.
The Blues are hoping that everyone is healthy when the postseason begins either late this month or early next month. The defending Stanley Cup champions finished the regular season at 42-19-10 with a Western Conference-best 94 points and are one of four teams in the conference who will play for seeding when hockey resumes.
Toronto, Edmonton Likely Hub Cities
After cases were made for more than 20 cities, both in the U.S. and Canada, it appears the NHL will choose Toronto and Edmonton as the two hub cities for when the postseason begins in a few weeks. However, nothing is official until players approve the return-to-play proposal, with the vote coming soon.
Initially, the league hoped to choose one American city and one Canadian city. Many thought Las Vegas would be the selected city for the U.S. due to its vast supply of luxury hotels for players and staff.
Nevada, along with several other states, has seen a spike of positive coronavirus cases, which reportedly scared the league and made the option of two Canadian cities a lot more palatable.
With the NHL projected to lose over $1 billion if it cannot return to play at all in 2020, picking cities where you are the least likely to get shut down became priority number one. Toronto and Edmonton represent that, and each should have the lodging necessary to create a bubble for all personnel involved.
It is also slightly cheaper to stage the games in Canada rather than America.
Lindblom Completes Cancer Treatment
Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has completed his radiation treatments and is now cancer-free. He had been battling a rare bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma, where a tumor grows in the bones or the tissue around bones.
“I can’t even explain how I feel,” Lindblom said on Thursday, following the completion of his treatment. “It feels like having my birthday, Christmas, and all those other holidays at the same time. It feels awesome to be done. I can’t wait to get back to normal life again and feel like I’m living.”
The 23-year-old was in the midst of a breakout year before the diagnosis, scoring 11 goals and registering 18 points in 30 games this season. Lindblom has been skating at the Flyers’ complex recently, but he has been ruled out from returning to the ice officially if and when the season resumes.