One of the four major American sports leagues, the NHL, is getting ready to return to action soon, as phase 3 of the plan will be implemented in the second week of July. As it has happened in the other major leagues, it has not been easy to reach agreements and plan accordingly and safely during this Covid-19 pandemic, but league’s officials, teams and players have tried to do their best, to be able to give fans what they’ve been waiting for since March, when the action was forced to stop.
Training camps will open on July 10th, as a part of phase 3 of the NHL comeback plan, and when the season finally resumes, there will be a 24-team tournament, which will be played in two cities only. So, the same as MLS and NBA, there will be no home and away games, but the tournament will be played in two host cities, kind of like what happens for the NCAA March Madness tournament.
As it is happening in the NBA and MLB, there will be some rule changes applied to this new tournament, and this applies to in-game situations as well as planning, rosters, injury lists and so on. There have been many different conversations between the league and the players, but as of now, many of these things are still being discussed on the table, as well as the two possible cities that would host the action. We’ll still need to wait a little bit longer for these details to be defined and certain, but news should be coming out soon, as phase 3 is getting closer by the day.
Who are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this year in the NHL?
The Eastern conference seems to be favored by the odds in sportsbooks, -140 over the Western Conference, which pays +120. But which teams are on top of the lists?
Odds to win the Eastern Conference – NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning +300
Boston Bruins +350
Washington Capitals +600
Pittsburgh Penguins +650
Philadelphia Flyers +650
Odds to win the Western Conference – NHL
Colorado Avalanche +350
Vegas Golden Knights +375
St. Louis Blues +500
Dallas Stars +700
Edmonton Oilers +1100
Odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup – NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning +550
Boston Bruins +650
Colorado Avalanche +875
Vegas Golden Knights +875
Washington Capitals +1100
St. Louis Blues +1150
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