CHICAGO (CBS) — The Blackhawks could soon be heading back to the ice.
As CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke reported Tuesday, the NHL is the first professional sports league to make official plans for a return. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the regular season is over, and tb the league will restart beginning with a unique 24-team Stanley Cup playoff format.
There will be no fans in stands.
That means the Blackhawks are in the postseason. The ’Hawks were actually last in their division, but they were in 12th in the conference.
They will eventually play the Edmonton oilers in a best of five series.
Training camp would not start earlier than July 1. The exact date of games is looking like late summer into fall, but will be determined by medical guidance.
“While we are hopeful, it is our goal that we will be able to resume play and award the Stanley Cup. We intend to do so in a timeframe that will enable us to get back to a full calendar for the 2021 season,” Bettman said.
Games will be played in two hub cities still to be determined. Chicago is actually one of the 10 possible cities being considered.
Once playoff teams move into their hub seasons, they can only have no more than 50 team personnel.
Meanwhile, seven NHL teams’ seasons have now ended since regular season is over.