It was officially announced this week that the ECHL was likely to add a new team in Trois-Rivières and that in all likelihood, the franchise would become the Habs’ ECHL affiliate. This is good news for the team as it would allow them to move players from the AHL to the ECHL and the other way around much faster. The team has come a long way since having its AHL in Saint-John’s. Clearly, the Habs are aware that they need to improve the developments of young players and be able to keep an eye on them.
With the Finnish connection (Armia, Lehkonen and Kotkaniemi) officially joining phase 2 of the return to play plan in Brossard, there are now 24 players training on the south shore of Montreal. Still no sign of Max Domi however but we’ll know soon enough if he will be cleared to take part in phases 3 and 4.
On the Romanov front, while he will not be eligible to play in phase 4, if the new collective bargaining agreement/return to play plan is ratified is ratified, he will be eligible to train with the team in phase 3 which is the mandatory training camp in Brossard.
As for the important dates to remember, right now, this is the calendar we are looking at:
July 13th: Start of training camp;
July 24th: Travel to hub cities;
July 25th-29th: Exhibition games;
July 30th: Qualification round begins;
August 9th: First round of the playoffs begins;
August 23rd: Second round of the playoffs begins;
September 6th: Conference finals begin;
September 20th: Stanley Cup final begins;
October 2nd: Last possible game of the Stanley Cup final.
While no official schedule has been released, various sources report that 6 games per day will be played during the qualification rounds, 3 in each city starting at noon in Toronto and 14:00 in Edmonton. Should the start of August be rainy, we’ll know what to do with our days…