NHL would face big challenge getting players home

NHL would face big challenge getting players home
October 17, 2012, 2:15 pm
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If the NHL’s players and owners can come to agreement on a new CBA by Oct. 25, teams would open training camps on Oct. 26 and the regular season would begin on Nov. 2.

That’s a pretty ambitious proposal on the part of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. But is it feasible?
“I think it’s do-able,” Capitals forward Matt Hendricks said. “For the most part guys are staying in shape and staying on the ice as much as they can without burning out.

“They proposed the season would go until the end of June, so you’re adding a couple weeks, but in my opinion it’s similar to a few years ago [2010] when we had the Olympic break. We had a schedule that was packed a little more tightly.”

According to multiple reports, teams would begin their seasons following the same schedules they were given over the summer. That means the Capitals would open up at home against the Bruins on Friday, Nov. 2 and work the 10 October games they missed into the remainder of the schedule.

“It’s definitely do-able,” Caps forward Jay Beagle said. “We haven’t missed that much time. We want to play.”

The biggest problem facing teams would be getting all of their players back from overseas. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is playing in Russia, Brooks Laich is in Switzerland, Michal Neuvirth is in the Czech Republic and Marcus Johansson is in Sweden.

On Wednesday only six Capitals were on the ice at Kettler – Hendricks, Beagle, Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera, Mike Green and John Carlson. Hendricks said all of them have been working out twice a week together under the supervision of a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Arlington.

As for getting his 18 teammates back together in less than 10 days, Hendricks said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach.

“There’s a lot of ground to cover before we can get to that,” he said.