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Phase 2 Buzz: Hall skates with Coyotes for first time since pause

De Haan, recovering from surgery, joins Blackhawks; Aho, Dzingel, Vatanen take ice for Hurricanes @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the Phase 2 Buzz. NHL teams began workouts on and off the ice at their facilities June 8 as part of  Phase 2 of the Return to Play Plan. Phase 3 (training camp) is expected to start July 10.

Here's a look around the League at the latest from Phase 2:


Arizona Coyotes

Taylor Hall joined the Coyotes in Phase 2 for the first time on Thursday.

Hall, a forward who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, scored 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 35 games for the Coyotes this season. The 28-year-old was traded to Arizona by the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16 and had 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) before the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

He won the Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP following the 2017-18 season with the Devils and is playing the final season of a seven-year contract worth $6 million annually.

Defenseman Jason Demers and forward Phil Kessel also skated Thursday, and forwards Christian Dvorak, Barrett Hayton and goalie Darcy Kuemper skated Friday.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Welcome home, @hallsy09. 🏡


Chicago Blackhawks

Calvin de Haan joined the Blackhawks in Phase 2, six months after shoulder surgery.

The defenseman had surgery Dec. 27 and was expected to miss the remainder of the season before it was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. He had six points (one goal, five assists) and averaged 19:55 of ice time in 29 games.

"Obviously we've got to get him on the ice and go through camp and hopefully everything continues to progress as far as his health," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said last month. "I thought the games he did play, he's steady back there,"

Forward David Kampf and defensemen Olli Maatta and Adam Boqvist also skated with the Blackhawks this week.

Tweet from @CarterBaum: Calvin de Haan has joined the voluntary skate group six months after successful shoulder surgery. Adam Boqvist, Olli Maatta and David Kampf among the #Blackhawks hitting the ice this week as well

New York Islanders

Forwards Cal Clutterbuck, Tom Kuhnhackl, Michael Dal Colle, defenseman Adam Pelech and goalie Chris Gibson were among the players to skate with the Islanders on Friday.

Tweet from @NYIslanders: Friday + HOCKEY 🙌


Washington Capitals

Forwards Alex Ovechkin, Garnet Hathaway, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goalie Braden Holtby were among the players to skate with the Capitals on Friday. 

Tweet from @Capitals: TGIF������#ALLCAPS | @TGIFridays


Columbus Blue Jackets

Forwards Nathan Gerbe, Stefan Matteau, Eric Robinson, Kole Sherwood and Devin Shore, defenseman Markus Nutivaara, and goalie Veini Vehvilainen worked out with the Blue Jackets for the first time in Phase 2.

Gerbe was the only one of those players who was injured when the season was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. He missed four games with a groin injury but is expected to be ready for training camp.

The Blue Jackets said 15 players have taken part in Phase 2 this week and 25 in total.

Tweet from @BlueJacketsNHL: 🏒 With the NHL's return-to-play plan moving forward, more and more #CBJ players are returning to CBus for on-ice workouts. @JacketsInsider has the full scoop 👉

Edmonton Oilers

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins participated with the Oilers in Phase 2 for the first time, joining several teammates who had been taking part in workouts for the past few weeks.

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: 🗣 NUUUUUUUUGE!RNH is back in Edmonton & participating in Phase 2 skates with many of his #Oilers teammates.#LetsGoOilers

Carolina Hurricanes

Forwards Sebastian Aho and Ryan Dzingel, and defenseman Sami Vatanen joined the Hurricanes on Wednesday for the second day of their voluntary small-group training at PNC Arena.

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Jordan Staal and goalie James Reimer skated with assistant coach Jeff Daniels on Tuesday, when the Hurricanes officially opened their training facility to start Phase 2 of the NHL Return to Play Plan. Teams had been able to open their facilities June 8, but the Hurricanes opted to wait while players skated and worked out on their own.

Hamilton hasn't played since Jan. 16, when he fractured his left fibula in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He scored 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 47 games; at the time of his injury Hamilton was fourth in scoring among NHL defenseman and tied for third on the Hurricanes.

He missed Carolina's final 21 games before the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. But as an injured player he was allowed to skate on his own prior to the start of Phase 2.

Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said Hamilton is healthy and will be a full participant when the Hurricanes reconvene as a team for training camp, currently scheduled for July 10.

"It's good to see Dougie back skating," Staal told the Hurricanes website Tuesday. "He looks good."

Vatanen was acquired by the Hurricanes in a trade from the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 24 but didn't play in Carolina's final seven games before the season was paused because of a lower-body injury sustained Feb. 1. He is expected to be a full participant in training camp. -- Dan Rosen

Tweet from @Canes: Back at it 👊


Pittsburgh Penguins

All Penguins players have returned to Pittsburgh, coach Mike Sullivan said Wednesday. The last to arrive was forward Patric Hornqvist, who is required to self-quarantine after coming back from Sweden.

"He's going through the quarantine/testing protocol that the League has mandated," Sullivan said. "But right now, we have our full complement of players in Pittsburgh."

The Penguins (40-23-6; .623 points percentage) will enter the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will play the No. 12 seed, the Montreal Canadiens (31-31-9, .500), in one of eight best-of-5 series.

Provided health and safety conditions allow and the NHL and NHL Players' Association reach an agreement on Phases 3 and 4 of the Return to Play Plan, training camps will open July 10. A start date for the qualifiers and hub cities -- one for the 12 participating Western Conference teams, one for the 12 Eastern teams -- have not been determined. -- Wes Crosby

Tweet from @penguins: Coach Sullivan: "To my knowledge, everybody is in Pittsburgh right now. The last player to arrive was Patric Hornqvist. He's going through the quarantine/testing protocol that the league has mandated. Right now, we have our full complement of players in Pittsburgh."

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