Frederik Andersen can really feel the clock ticking.
Again in Toronto observing a 14-day quarantine, with an eye fixed in the direction of being on the ice with teammates for the beginning of coaching camp July 10, the Maple Leafs goalie is aware of its crunch time to resolve whether or not or not the pandemic-hit 2019-20 season can truly resume.
“It looks like it is the 11th hour right here,” Andersen stated on a convention name Tuesday. “Hopefully issues will progress slightly bit within the subsequent week.”
Or ideally sooner.
The NHL and NHL Gamers’ Affiliation proceed to barter quite a lot of points associated to its return-to-play protocol, together with heath and security measures, the placement of two hub cities poised to host 12 groups every in fan-less arenas, and an extension to the collective bargaining settlement for a league that has already misplaced boatloads of cash because the schedule was paused March 12.
“The entire thing has to make sense,” Andersen stated. “Future CBA stuff, clearly security is essential.”
WATCH | Selecting hub cities is not any simple activity:
The NHLPA’s rank and file should log out on no matter plan emerges — a easy majority will get it over the road — however echoing feedback made by Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Worth final week, Andersen stated he wants extra data earlier than deciding which strategy to lean.
“The [union] and the league are nonetheless ironing that out, then we’ll see,” stated the 30-year-old. “The July 10 purpose [for camps] is developing quickly.”
That date may very well be pushed again a couple of days, however the league goals to renew below its 24-team format on the finish of July or early August with gamers remoted away from the overall inhabitants in so-called “bubbles” in hopes of retaining COVID-19 at bay.
‘Not fairly 100 per cent assured’
Nonetheless, there are questions that want answering.
“I am not fairly 100 per cent assured but,” Andersen stated on whether or not the season might be accomplished safely. “The league may be very adamant of working in the direction of that. As soon as we get to the hub cities, I believe everybody should be assured and the league can have a superb setup.
“However it’s a matter of getting there.”
Andersen spent a big chunk of the hiatus isolating with teammate Auston Matthews on the star centre’s home in Arizona.
The pair posted movies and photos on social media of their time collectively within the desert solar, together with a powerful alley-oop dunk off a cross from the roof of the sprawling mansion right into a internet hooked up to a sun-drenched pool.
“We tried to share among the enjoyable we had,” Andersen stated. “We get alongside nice. Simply attempting to make the most effective of it… very fortunate to have the ability to go down there.”
He was additionally in all probability fortunate to depart when he did.
Left Arizona earlier than spike in circumstances
Andersen stated he’d travelled to California to work along with his private expertise coach by the point Arizona noticed its novel coronavirus an infection charges begin to spike in mid-June. The Dane added he and Matthews had parted methods by the point the 22-year-old reportedly examined optimistic for COVID-19. The Leafs have declined to touch upon the story first revealed June 19 by The Toronto Solar, citing NHL protocol associated to the virus.
Andersen, who skated with Matthews down south, additionally would not contact a query associated to his teammate’s well being Wednesday, however Toronto’s No. 1 goalie stated he is been again in Toronto “for fairly a bit now” and has returned to ice on the staff’s observe facility throughout his quarantine.
Andersen was 29-13-7 with a .909 save share and a 2.85 goals-against common in 52 begins — his worst statistical efficiency with the Leafs since being acquired from Anaheim in 2016, though he was frolicked to dry by suspect defensive play on quite a few events — when the 2019-20 season was halted.
He suffered a neck damage in early February, which got here in the course of an 12-game stretch the place his save share dipped to .871, however was 5-1-1 with a .931 mark in seven begins earlier than the pause.
If the season does resume, Toronto will want Andersen at or close to his finest to get previous the Columbus Blue Jackets within the best-of-five qualifying spherical main into the same old 16-team playoff format.
However there’s nonetheless loads of floor to cowl earlier than the video games can truly start.
“I wish to play,” Andersen stated. “I do not wish to simply sit and waste the summer time and the season.”