Vegas Golden Knights: Dissecting the new norm

Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights in action against the Calgary Flames. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights in action against the Calgary Flames. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

It has already seemed like an eternity since the Vegas Golden Knights last hit a puck in competitive anger, and we may have to wait a while longer for hockey to return.

As the COVID-19 continues to bring countries to a grinding halt across the world, the Vegas Golden Knights have been adjusting to their new normal.

As of today, players can return to their home states or countries so long as they remain in self-isolation through Mar. 27.

This mandate, released by the NHL today, comes hot off the heels of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention releasing a recommendation on Sunday suggesting that no events exceeding 50 or more people should take place for the next eight weeks.

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As a result, the NHL and other sports probably won’t be able to resume until at least mid-May, and it is anyone’s guess as to what exactly hockey will look like if it does return.

And that is the catch here. With the way the coronavirus is spreading, there is no guarantee that hockey will even be able to return, which is a sobering thought.

Of course, the safety of everyone is paramount and that will need to continue to come first as we wade through these scary and weird times.

What’s Next

As for the Vegas Golden Knights, the remainder of the 2019-20 NHL regular season is very much in doubt and, as already mentioned, players have been allowed to return to their home state or country as long as they self-quaratine until Mar. 27.

There is a hope from the National Hockey League that a mini training camp can take place roughly 40 days into the CDC’s directive, which would allow players to regain some sharpness ahead of the return of hockey.

Now, what that return will look like is anyone’s guess at this point, with Darren Dreger of TSN reporting that the NHL and team owners are considering a bevy of different options.

Chief among them is a 24-team playoff system, which would include a playout round, and the top 24 teams in the NHL standings would presumably make the cut.

As a result, the Golden Knights would make the cut comfortably given that they are currently atop of the Pacific Division, and they would have home-ice advantage.

Of course, any such ideas are in the early stages and it remains to be seen exactly how a 24-team playoff format would look or work.

And, as the world continues to do whatever is necessary in order to contain the COVID-19, there is no guarantee that the NHL even returns at all this year, which means no Stanley Cup will be rewarded.

Things change on a day-to-day basis so we aren’t going to make any assumptions at this point, but we aren’t going to see our Golden Knights in action until at least mid-May.

What happens from there is anyone’s guess at this stage, but this is now the new normal and there will no doubt be new developments on a daily basis.

In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy out there everyone.

Pacioretty, Stone will benefit from hiatus. dark. Next

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.