The National Hockey League (NHL) is the biggest hockey league in North America. It comprises 31 teams from Canada and the United States. Some sports fans claim it is the best professional ice hockey league worldwide. The league was suspended for several weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 2019/2020 season of the NHL will return soon. In this article, we discuss the top NHL teams and their training camp rosters.
The Washington Capitals won the 2018 Stanley Cup and were leading the Metropolitan Division by one point before the hockey league was suspended a month ago. The team is focused on qualifying for its 13th playoffs in 14 seasons. They will play Lightning, Flyers and Bruins in their next Round-robin games.
Ilya Kovalchuk played seven games for the Capitals before the pause, despite scoring 443 in his professional ice hockey career. None of the team’s players were injured when the league was suspended. It has maintained the same roster it had in the 2018 Stanley Cup.
The Blues are leading the Western Conference of the NHL with 94 points, and two points ahead of Colorado Avalanche. They will play the Avalanche, Golden Knights and Stars in the round-robin. Vladimir Tarasenko played 10 games in the Western Conference and was out for five months due to a shoulder injury. But, the hockey star will join the rest of the team soon.
The team was two points behind the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference at the pause. It will play the Blues, Golden Knights and Stars in the round-robin. Unfortunately, several of the Avalanche’s top players have sustained injuries this season including Philipp Gubauer, Colin Wilson, Nazem Kadri, Matt Calvert, Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky. But, they are likely to have recovered when the season resumes. There are several NHL hub city options where ice hockey games can be played after the league restarts.
Vegas Golden Knights had amassed 86 points at the pause. They were at the top of the Pacific Division and Money Puck increased their chances of qualifying for the playoffs. The team will play the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and Stars in the round-robin. Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury showed a spectacular display this season. Alex Tuch and Mark Stone were both nursing lower body injuries when the league was paused.
Dallas Stars were the third team in the Central Division at the pause. They will face the Blues, Avalanche and Golden Knights in the round-robin. Also, the Stars had the second best defense in the league this season. None of the players were sidelined due to injury at the pause. Its new lineup will comprise nine players who are above 30 years.
Phase 3 of the National Hockey League Return to Play Plan required training camps to start before July 23, 2020. The hockey teams will travel on July 26 to one hub city to start Phase 4 of the league’s return plan. Qualifiers for the Stanley Cup are scheduled to begin on August 1 this year. Teams from the Western Conference will play in Edmonton while the Eastern Conference games will be played in Toronto. Camp rosters won’t have a limit on goalies and will have a maximum of 30 skaters.