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Since the NHL’s mandated season suspension, hockey fans have longed for action for nearly two weeks, but creativity and spontaneity have helped satisfy during the outbreak of COVID-19.
The NCAA, CHL, and various leagues have postponed or canceled the remainder of their seasons, but despite all 31 NHL teams on suspension, hope remains for a proper conclusion to the season, which has sparked some creativity across social media.
Analysts, reporters, and fans alike have thrown in their thoughts on a modified schedule and playoff format proposals, with the news that the NHL has reportedly weighed the potential of a modified 82-game season and tweaked playoff format.
There have been many possible playoff formats discussed should the NHL resume play this season.@Dixononsports presents some unique paths the league could take to awarding the Stanley Cup. https://t.co/u3XEGTwt2N— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 22, 2020
Hearing the NHL considers 24 teams to get to the playoffs with a playout round to be played. If the season is going to be resumed, of course— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) March 16, 2020
For some fans, proposals don’t quite offer the same thrill as live-action or getting to watch their favorite players go out and play. One thing is for sure: the players are missing the rink just as much as the fans and have grouped together — in a social distancing-friendly way — to keep fans entertained.
Social media has been buzzing with the new trend #HockeyAtHome, in which the hockey community has shared their methods for passing the time and training during their quarantine.
Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar is mixing his increased time at home with his kids with “cross-training.”
Also forming their new methods of cross-training were Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust.
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi showed off his own skills of balance and hand-eye coordination.
Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov has also displayed the skills that helped him become the first NHL player to score “the Michigan goal.”
Brothers Mikey and Joey Anderson of the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils, respectively, shared a little at-home challenge.
Meanwhile, various NHL players have placated to the toilet paper headlines with shooting juggling and shooting competitions.
Even kids are engaging their creativity to keep up with training.
Our 14U AAA @SanJoseJrSharks 🦈 Girls having a little fun with each other while also practicing 🏒 and social distancing skills 😊 #HockeyAtHome #CagedSharks #hockeytwitter @SanJoseSharks @WHLOfficial @WomensSportsFdn pic.twitter.com/2wWzwsODua— Carpy44 (@joncarpenter44) March 23, 2020
The above videos are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg for hockey fans and players who have shared videos and challenges across social media to remain in touch with fans and enjoy this unprecedented situation.
But the current hiatus hasn’t halted all business. With the early conclusion to the NCAA season, players have entered the signing phase, be it a drafted prospect or undrafted free agent.
The Vancouver Canucks inked Minnesota State captain Marc Michaelis to an entry-level deal, adding a scoring forward with two-way dependability to an already young, stacked forward group. The Canucks also added Michigan forward Will Lockwood.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Drew O’Connor out of Dartmouth and defenseman Cameron Lee of Western Michigan.
The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators have also joined in with multiple signings as they restock their farm system to shore up the loss of draft picks traded away in recent years.
Stay up to date with the latest signings at CapFriendly as more college players are bound to sign entry-level NHL contracts in the coming days and weeks.
We at FloHockey hope you are staying safe and busy during these trying times. Know we miss hockey as much as you and hope you are enjoying our ongoing content.
Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.