Doughty: 'I don't see how the season is going to return'
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Drew Doughty isn't optimistic about the resumption of the current NHL campaign.
"Honestly, I don't see how the season is going to return. I really don't," the Los Angeles Kings defenseman said Monday on a conference call, according to The Associated Press' Stephen Whyno. "We have no idea when this virus is going to be over."
"The fans want to see us play ... but it's going to be tough," Doughty added, according to The Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott.
The star blue-liner doesn't think playing in August is feasible.
"It would be tough to do that. It would affect next season," he said, according to The Athletic's Lisa Dillman.
Doughty also believes an abbreviated conclusion to the season would devalue the championship.
"In all seriousness, it's not going to be like winning a real Stanley Cup," he said, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.
The NHL is willing to delay the start of the 2020-21 campaign in order to finish the current one, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported Monday.
The league would prefer to hold some regular-season games before the playoffs begin and hasn't ruled out condensing the schedule if and when the campaign resumes, LeBrun reported last week.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in late March that the NHL will find a way to fit games into August if need be. However, it remains to be seen if state and city officials, as well as health experts, would agree to a return by then.
The season was paused on March 12 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Players were initially told not to travel but were then allowed to return to their homes while being instructed to self-quarantine. The latter mandate was reportedly extended through April 15.