If the NHL hopes to resume the playoffs and award the Stanley Cup this season, there are a number of obstacles it will have to address to do so.
While the health concerns over the coronavirus remain on the forefront of everyone's minds, the training of the players also has to be a consideration. While basketball players could presumably get a basketball and practice shooting, hockey players are in a different boat as they can't get on the ice which means many of them have not skated, including Capitals defenseman John Carlson.
Carlson joined Mike Tirico on Thursday for the Luch Talk Live Podcast and said he has not even been on skates since March 12 when the league paused the season. The Capitals were scheduled to play the Detroit Red Wings that night and were informed before the morning skate that they would not be going on the ice.
"They came in for our morning meeting around nine in the morning and said, hey, we're not going on the ice today," Carlson said. "This morning it's probably going to be canceled, but we don't know yet. And that was the last time."
This is something the NHL has to keep in mind when calculating when it can resume play. The league just can't simply call the players back and say games start in a week, they have to have a training camp to get back into game shape because Carlson's story is not unique. There are a lot of players, most of the players remaining in North America, who have not been able to work on their skating during the pause.
While it's not as if anyone will simply forget how to skate during the season pause, the issue is the players will have to build those muscles back up again to play and that will mean holding a training camp for a few weeks before the season can resume.
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