The Carolina Hurricanes are one of 24 teams competing for the Cup
The Carolina Hurricanes have gotten themselves on the right side of the playoffs at a time where missing them gives the fanbase nothing.
March 11th. That is the last time an NHL game has been played. It has now been exactly four months since then. In a normal season, that is about as long a gap as missing the playoffs would give an NHL team. This year it is everyone.
Now the Carolina Hurricanes are no strangers to missing this long gap. For nine consecutive years, they have again and again experienced that long gap. It took a toll on the team and its fanbase. But this fanbase is weathered and strong now. Luckily, this year, the wait is almost over and on August 1st, Hockey will return to our TVs.
For 23 other teams, that remains to also be the case as the fanbases go over every inch of information given out by the league. The CBA extension vote ends today, so we will get confirmation on what to expect from the league moving forward as Hockey continues to attempt to be the first major league team to return to play (second if you count the MLS).
For the other seven teams, it is going to be a LONG break before they get the opportunity to see their team play again. Early predictions have the Stanley Cup awarded some time between late October to early November. Given the proper time to conduct both Free Agency and the Draft, I cannot see next season starting any earlier than January 1st.
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This sentiment was echoed by commissioner Gary Bettman who mentioned the season getting kicked off by the Winter Classic in Minneapolis, Minnesota between the Wild and the Blues.
For those of us doing the math at home, that would be a break between games for the teams that is just shy of being nine full months. Baby jokes aside, That is longer than the regular season for a sport that has the longest season among major league sports in North America (second if you count the MLS, once again).
That is a ridiculous amount of time to wait. Some players haven’t been off skates this long since they first put them on as children.
So as a Carolina Hurricanes fan this summer, let’s be thankful to all the wonderful players, coaches, and management that has helped us enjoy hockey sooner than next year. Even if that means no games at home. Even if that means no fans in attendance. Even if that means we have to face a team with a good record against us that shouldn’t have made the playoffs.
Let us all be thankful for a ticket to the show regardless. We could have been waiting for this awful year to end instead.
Question for CC Readers: What are you looking forward to most about the return to play plan?