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Bettman: 2-3 week training camp needed if NHL season resumes

Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman acknowledged Monday that even if his league gets the green light to resume the 2019-20 campaign, it will take time for players to prepare for game action.

"As much as you may try to stay in shape with a home gym, our guys haven’t been on the ice for a month and they’re going to need two-to-three weeks to get back into playing shape," Bettman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“So as much as we may worry about keeping everybody, not just our players or the NHL family, but everybody safe from the coronavirus, we also want to make sure that our players don't jeopardize their health by coming back too soon and not being in game shape.”

The NHL has been mulling a number of options for a potential resumption of the current season, including playing games at neutral sites. The league is also reportedly willing to delay next season's commencement until November if the current campaign can be salvaged.

Bettman confirmed Monday that essentially all options remain on the table. He added that the league will be ready to move quickly if an opportunity to return arises.

"We're exploring and want to be prepared for every option - whenever the circumstances present themselves - so we haven't ruled anything in, we haven't ruled anything out and we'll be prepared to go in whatever direction makes sense at the time," he said.

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