CHICAGO – At the very least, fans in the Windy City will get the chance to see their hometown team play at least three more games this season.
The NHL’s Return To Play program has included the Blackhawks as the 12th and final seed in the Western Conference for the 24-team tournament. Jeremy Colliton’s team will be in the play-in round and faced fifth-seeded Edmonton, with the winner advancing to the traditional 16-team Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But a date and location have yet to be set for that, so the wait for hockey continues. The first step is the league’s second phase of their restart plan, which went into efffect today for the Blackhawks.
Players today began arriving at Fifth Third Arena on the west side to begin their individual training at team facilities.
The team showed video of a group of players showing up for the workout that is approved through the NHL’s Phase 2 of returning to play. These are voluntary activities and only six members of the team can participate at a time in the on and off-ice activities.
These workouts will lead up to Phase 3 of the return to play plan, which would allow the Blackhawks to begin training camp. Commissioner Gary Bettman had hoped to have that started sometime in early July, but a firm date on that has yet to be set. The tournament would then start at the completion of the camps at two of the ten finalist cities which the NHL named as finalists.
That includes Chicago, and while the fate of that has yet to be decided, at least local hockey fans know the Blackhawks are getting closer to restarting their season.