DULUTH, MN. -- It's been an exciting week for the NHL. On Tuesday they announced a 'return to play' format to have 24 teams compete for the ultimate prize. The Stanley Cup.
It's been exactly 77 days since NHL'ers like Karson Kuhlman have been on the ice since the NHL hit the pause button on the 2019-2020 NHL season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I know for myself and a lot of other guys that are on the ice a lot, this is the longest we've been without being on the ice since we were little kids," said Kuhlman.
For the Esko native, and former UMD Bulldog captain, he's been spending quarantine in Duluth, and it's the same for him as it is for everyone.
"Just like everybody else, it's a strange time but doing our best to stay safe and active and staying in shape and ready to go whenever we have to head back," added Kuhlman.
However on Tuesday, the NHL released a 'Return to Play Plan', giving the top team in the east, Kuhlman's Bruins, a chance again to hoist the Stanley Cup.
"It's great to see a glimmer of hope in the distance that sports are going to be back and we are going to return to a little bit of normalcy. Still obviously a long way to go until then, but it's awesome to have that in the back of your mind that you are getting closer to finishing what we started," said Kuhlman.
And because of arena's, and training facilities being closed, the Bruins made sure Kuhlman was prepared to play once again.
"We have an awesome staff in Boston. Our training staff and our athletic trainers are top notch so they put together a nice package for everybody when we were heading home or scattering across the States. A handful of guys stayed back out east, but really you just have to hold yourself accountable and keep your body in shape and ready to go in case we have got to get back soon," added Kuhlman.
While this is still just a plan and is still up in the air, Kuhlman adds he's excited to lace up his skates again.
"It's going to be great. Obviously you grow so much as a team throughout the year and when you are this far apart for so long, you start to miss the game, and miss the locker room, and the guys a lot so it will be great to be back seeing everybody when it's safe," said Kuhlman.
Kuhlman add's that he's interested to see which cities are picked for the playoff 'hubs', and is excited that Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of them to play in his home state.