The NHL is back.
Training camps kicked off Monday, July 13 -- for the second time this season -- as the NHL began its restart after the coronavirus pandemic promptly shut down the 2019-20 season in March.
Training camp is expected to last for two weeks. Teams are tentatively scheduled to travel to their hub cities -- Edmonton for the Western Conference and Toronto for the Eastern Conference -- on July 26.
The NHL playoffs are expected to begin on Aug. 1 with four, best-of-five qualifier series in each conference. The winners of those series will meet the top four teams, who will play a round robin but will have byes to the conference quarterfinals.
There are 16 former UND players reporting to training camps across the NHL today as part of playoff team rosters, highlighted by Grand Forks' Luke Johnson (Minnesota Wild), East Grand Forks' Tucker Poolman (Winnipeg Jets) and Warroad's T.J. Oshie (Washington Capitals) and Brock Nelson (New York Islanders).
The others are Derek Forbort (Calgary Flames), Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), Troy Stecher (Vancouver Canucks), Nick Schmaltz (Arizona Coyotes), Rocco Grimaldi (Nashville Predators), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks), Drake Caggiula (Chicago Blackhawks), Shane Gersich (Washington Capitals), Tyson Jost (Colorado Avalanche), Austin Poganski (St. Louis Blues) and Rhett Gardner (Dallas Stars).
Roseau's Aaron Ness, who played college hockey at Minnesota, also is with the Coyotes. Baudette's Alex Lyon, who played college hockey at Yale, is with the Flyers.
Not all training camp participants will be going to hub cities for the playoffs. Each NHL team will be allowed to take up to 31 players to the hub city with them for the playoffs. Most teams are bringing a couple of extras to training camp.
In addition to the players, others who have come through UND have roles on playoff teams.
Former UND forward Dave Tippett is the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers; former UND captain and head coach Dave Hakstol is an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs; former UND forward Ryan Johnson is the head of skill development for the Vancouver Canucks; former UND goalie Steve Peters is the video coach for the Arizona Coyotes; former UND forward Jeff Ulmer is in skill development with the Coyotes and former UND equipment manager Andy Rannells has the same role for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Western Conference playoff qualifiers should be of extra note for UND fans. All four matchups feature former UND players going head-to-head.
Western Conference playoff qualifiers (Edmonton hub)
Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames
Jets (33 total players at camp): Tucker Poolman
Flames (35): Derek Forbort
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks
Wild (34): Zach Parise, Luke Johnson
Canucks (34): Brock Boeser, Troy Stecher
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators
Coyotes (32): Nick Schmaltz
Predators (35): Rocco Grimaldi
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers
Blackhawks (35): Jonathan Toews, Drake Caggiula
Oilers (33): None
Western Conference quarterfinalists
St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars (will play a round robin)
Avalanche (34): Tyson Jost
Stars (35): Rhett Gardner
Blues (33): Austin Poganski
Golden Knights (33): None
Eastern Conference playoff qualifiers (Toronto hub)
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Maple Leafs (34): None
Blue Jackets (33): None
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers
Islanders (34): Brock Nelson
Panthers (30): None
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Rangers (33): None
Hurricanes (30): None
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Canadiens (33): None
Penguins (34): None
Eastern Conference quarterfinalists
Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning (will play a round robin)
Capitals (34): T.J. Oshie, Shane Gerisch
Flyers (34): None
Bruins (33): None
Lightning (33): None
Not in playoffs
Los Angeles Kings (Paul LaDue), Anaheim Ducks (Carter Rowney), San Jose Sharks (Aaron Dell), Ottawa Senators (Christian Wolanin), New Jersey Devils (Travis Zajac), Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings.