Report: Sharks, non-playoff teams to start training camp early originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Sharks were one of seven teams that arguably were put at a competitive disadvantage by not being included in the NHL's return-to-play format, as the vast majority of their league counterparts were able to ramp back up within the last couple months, while those that failed to qualify haven't played since March. Those seven teams never will be able to get that time back, however, they might not be shut out altogether.
The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported Tuesday, citing a league source, that the NHL and NHL Players' Association have an agreement on a general framework that would give the Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres extra days of training camp ahead of the normal training camp start date.
Apparently, there also have been discussions about extra preseason games for those teams, but LeBrun doesn't believe that has been agreed to yet. The general framework reportedly has not yet been finalized, but it is expected to be discussed at length at Friday's meeting between the NHL general managers.
Extra training camp practices and preseason games are unlikely to match the intensity of the playoff atmosphere most of the Sharks' peers just experienced, but they're certainly better than nothing. And coming off the disappointing season they just had, the Sharks need all the competition they can get.