The Boston Bruins could finally be back on the ice at Warrior Arena next Saturday!
After the NHL pushed back the beginning of training camp and Phase 3 of the NHL Return To Play Plan Friday morning, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced on Friday that Massachusetts pro sports teams will be able to open and use their practice facilities starting a week from today. That means the Boston Bruins will officially begin Phase 2 on the NHL Return To Play plan and begin involuntary workouts and practices of no more than six skaters on June 6.
“We’ve had positive conversations with our professional sports teams, the Celtics, the Bruins, the Patriots, the Red Sox, and the Revolution,” Baker told the media Friday. “This (executive) order also will allow professional sports teams to begin practicing at their facilities in compliance with the health and safety rules the leagues are developing. Facilities are still closed to the public at this time.
I know we still aren’t at the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet, the leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.“
Bruins team President Cam Neely, who’s been working diligently with Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to facilitate the reopening of Warrior Arena released a statement on the Bruins Twitter feed:
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 29, 2020
Anyone entering the facility will undergo symptom and temperature checks but as Neely pointed out Wednesday, testing is not required in this phase. The Bruins are still taking every precaution they can and preparing Warrior, including putting the ice back down to skate on.
“We’re walking through it and making sure we have everything in place,” Neely said. “From sanitizing to temperatures, to making sure that the groups are spaced well enough apart. So we can clean in between each group. It’s groups of six, so we feel like, potentially, by the time we’re able to go we could have three groups of six rotating, but we don’t know the full extent of the numbers yet of players that will be here when we have ice up and running.”
On Tuesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the NHL’s 24-team playoff format that won’t begin likely until August and could run into October. The Bruins, who won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best regular season team this season, will be part of a four-team round-robin with the Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers to determine the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference.