The NHL seems to be pivoting from its plan to reopen the season in four centralized locations and is now investigating the possibility of playing games in its teams’ home cities.
The league is dealing with a myriad of hypotheticals, but it is believed that the players have pushed back on the prospect of spending months in a hotel apart from their families.
The players have raised numerous questions about the protocols under which they in essence would be segregated from society, but have not as a group rejected the possibility. Thus, the centralized-location plan has not been eliminated as an option.
There is no consensus regarding the format under which the league would reopen.
While teams have been pressing to complete the regular season in order to satisfy their local television contracts, the league continues to study the possibility of going straight to an expanded playoff tournament.
If the NHL moves to play in home cities, this would create an entire new set of issues for the league and union to confront and solve, most notable of which would be travel considerations and the means with which to test players and attendant personnel who live in disparate locations under divergent coronavirus-related government policies.