Plans to continue the season have intensified as the NHL and NHLPA have formed a joint Return to Play committee. A Flyers forward is among the group.
We are almost two months into the league’s decision to pause the season. There have been many plans thrown out to find a way to resume the season. It looks like Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk is a part of a newly formed committee who will decide ways to safely resume the season.
This was first broken by Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The NHL will be represented by Gary Bettman, Bill Daly, senior VP’s Collin Campbell and Steve Hatze Petros. The NHLPA is represented by JVR, Connor McDavid, Mark Scheifele, Ron Hainsey, John Tavares, Don Fehr, Mathieu Schneider, general counsel Don Zavelo and divisional rep Steve Webb.
The main details the group will focus on whether the NHL is able to develop plans to resume. Determining if the players will agree to it will be a big focus too.
One of the other issues being discussed is moving to a 30-man roster for the rest of the season. That would mean the NHL’s current salary cap would have to be forgotten in order to make this work.
The league has also looked at hosting games in specific areas and not opening up every single arena. That idea has gained traction, but there hasn’t been much word on what cities are among the groups being looked at. But that idea could take awhile to figure out.
One of the biggest questions out there is about if a single player was to be diagnosed with COVID-19. According to Daley, that would not immediately mean the league will shut down again. The same would go if multiple players were diagnosed. It is all a fluid situation.
Ultimately, the decision to resume will not be made solely by the NHL. Medical advisors from both the league and player’s union have been a part of calls as well.
This is a big decision the league will have to make the longer this goes on. Resuming the league is something that can’t be taken lightly. Especially when it may force the players to be separated from their families for months at a time.
For now, it looks like the league is making progress with this Return to Play committee. And they will have the mind of a Flyers forward among the group.