The next negative word by a Pittsburgh Penguins player about the NHL return will be the first. There was considerable disagreement in the team structure, and there was a significant portion of the team which was not in favor of the 24-team NHL return. But after the NHLPA approved the “yes” vote, the Penguins flocked back to Pittsburgh to resume their hockey season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had 20 players show up in the first week of the voluntary NHL return to play Phase 2 workouts.
But it hasn’t been all candy and roses. There have been a few players pop off about the negatives of the NHL return to play. In no particular order other than my recollection, Devan Dubnyk, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, and most recently Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price.
It may be hard to steal a series from the Penguins if your attitude includes the phrase, “I’m not even supposed to be here today.”
The NHL can expect a massive TV audience, even without fans in the stands for the Qualifying Round and subsequent NHL playoffs, even if they must have a sheet which says, “I assure you we’re open!”
Ok, enough of the Clerks references, but the trend is something to pay attention, but also understand.