With sports seemingly getting closer to a return, it seems like as good a time as ever to bring back the weekend recap to go over the biggest stories in Boston sports.
Bruins – They’re baaaack. Kind of. The NHL announced their return to play format which does not have a specific date, however insiders believe they are targeting late July for a return to the ice. The new format will include 24 teams, with the top four in each conference playing a round robin for seeding, and the remainder participating in a best of five play-in tournament to re-create the traditional 16-team playoffs. With the new format, the Bruins will need to fight for seeding, despite being head and shoulders above the rest of the league in terms of points. The remainder of the season will take place in two locations, one for each conference. The possible options have been narrowed down to Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver.
Celtics – The NBA is also very close to a return to play. NBA owners will vote this week to approve a return-to-play scenario in Orlando, Florida that could include anywhere from 16-22 teams. It seems like the NBA is leaning towards a play-in tournament for the bottom seeds of each conference, however all options are seemingly on the table. July 31st is reportedly the target date for a return according to many NBA insiders. It should also be noted that Boston Mayor Charlie Baker announced that professional sports teams can return to practice this Monday. Both the Auerbach Center and Warrior Ice Arena will be open for players to participate in individual workouts this week.
Red Sox – More bad news for baseball fans this week. MLB owners proposed a laughable sliding-scale type salary cut in which the highest payed players would be taking a larger percentage pay cut than lower salaried ones. The MLBPA promptly declined the offer, and are currently awaiting financial documents from owners to see how much money they would actually be losing if they pay players their prorated salaries. The players union will likely counter this offer with fully prorated salaries along with a longer schedule. The owners have been weary of playing anymore than an 82 game season due to a potential second wave of COVID-19. It’s looking more and more like we aren’t going to have a baseball season this year. If nothing gets decided this week, it might be too late to get players ready for a legit season.
Patriots – A very light weekend in terms of Pats’ and NFL news. The NFL is hopeful that coaches will be allowed into their offices this month, and that training camp will proceed as usual. All signs are pointing to a normal NFL season, which should put a smile on every football fan’s face.