Whether you agree with it or not, whether you think it’s good for the players or not, whether you think they’ll get a week into playing again before shutting down again or not, the NHL is hellbent on giving you hockey this summer and coincidentally recouping as much money as possible.

Pierre LeBrun is reporting that a lot of progress has been made, although it’s debatable whether we close to having anything announced.

The thing is, if the league is going to pull off this 24 team tournament, return all the players to cities to train in, relocate to hub cities, and all the while comply with three levels of government and health authorities in two countries, they probably will need to get that finalized soon.

Toronto seems to be in the running to be a hub city and that potentially makes things a lot easier on the Leafs. There isn’t any shortage of arenas or hotels in the GTA, and having two airports gives them a significant advantage over a city like Winnipeg, which has zero airports.

LeBrun also makes mention of the other underwhelming idea from the league, and that’s the date for the draft. While it looks like we won’t be seeing the early June draft many dreaded, there is still the possibility they keep the date set for the end of June and hold it prior to the completion of the playoffs, which still doesn’t seem appealing.

Forgoing what is most appealing in this, there is a bit of a “we’ll take what we get and we’ll like it” mindset as well. The 24 team playoff isn’t what anyone wanted (outside of the league), but if we want to see hockey, we’ll have to accept it.

The draft seems like it will be mangled this year, but hey, those of us who tuned in before will tune in again.

The league could come back tomorrow, play out the regular season, and complete a normal playoffs and we’d still be talking about an asterisk next to the Stanley Cup champion, so the NHL steering into the weird to get their broken conclusion is essentially embracing the asterisk.

If something is announced soon we’ll have something to look forward to, once you get past the all the questionable actions regarding the safety of not only the players, who have a voice in this, but the team employees, officials, broadcasters, etc. that will be taken along for the ride.

As for the 24 team format, Mark Norman took a good look at that earlier today and highlighted its flaws.

On the plus side, for everyone wanting to watch hockey this summer, this news makes that seem like much more of a reality.