By Marc Antoine Godin (The Athletic)
For players and coaches, Phases 3 and 4 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan represents an unprecedented challenge. After four months of inaction, 24 teams will have two weeks of training camp before heading to one of the two hub cities, where they will continue to practice and play two exhibition games each before beginning the qualifying round on Aug. 1.
And all of it will happen in a hyper-controlled environment none of them have ever experienced before.
Nothing from their past can prepare them for what they are about to embark on. But if you take the public health questions out of the equation — a big ask, granted — you realize that the conditions are somewhat similar to what we’ve seen in the past in international tournaments.
This is why we asked three coaches with considerable international tournament experience to identify the key elements of preparing a team under these unique conditions.