After a month in quarantine at Auston Matthews’ home in Arizona, Frederik Andersen isn’t going to quibble where, when or how the NHL re-starts its season.
Not that the Maple Leafs goaltender is complaining about his teammate’s extended hospitality, but he’d like to get back on ice instead of solely facing Matthews in the small condominium sports court.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said one of the ideas being discussed after more than six weeks on hold from COVID-19 concerns is wrapping up regular season play with a concentration of games in designated league cities, perhaps one in each division.
“I’ve heard a lot of different ideas and scenarios, but I’m pretty much open to anything that can be done to salvage the season,” Andersen told the Toronto media on a Thursday afternoon conference call.
Even if it means a couple of weeks in strict isolation-type conditions again in one place and possibly without spectators for the games?
“I’m not against that. Everyone wants sports back on. I think if there’s a chance we can go back to play, we owe it to ourselves to play the game we’re so passionate about and owe it to the fans who’ve been waiting. It will give them something to watch. Fans are starving for something other than a re-run of old shows. It will be a big part of returning to normal.”
Andersen would like to see those missing March and April regular season games completed as a prelude to normal playoffs at some point in the summer.
“There are 31 teams who’ve put a lot of time and effort in. I’d definitely like to see something done to finalize the season, move on and not lose out on all the hard work.”
Andersen chose not to return to his native Denmark when the NHL shuttered on March 12, with that country ahead of North America in closing its borders. But rather than stay in Toronto, he elected to hang out with fellow bachelor Matthews in Scottsdale. He brought his gear with him and when there’s space open on then court, there’s 1-on-1 shooting.Toronto Maple Leafs✔@MapleLeafs