The NHL and NHL Players' Association have reached a tentative deal on Return-to-Play Protocol and a four-year contract extension. This means there won't be a lockout for at least another six years.
What this also means that if the agreement is ratified, training camps will open on Monday, July 13. That day leads up to the beginning of the 24-team Stanley Cup playoffs which are set to begin on Saturday, August 1 with a champion being declared in October.
If everything goes forward, Edmonton and Toronto have been chosen as the two hub cities with the Eastern Conference playing their games in Toronto while the Western Conference games will be played in Edmonton. It's also been reported that Edmonton will play host to the conference finals and Stanley Cup final.
That means the Winnipeg Jets will play their games in Edmonton and their first-round opponent will be the Calgary Flames. Calgary is ranked #8 while Winnipeg is ranked #9. As he has been since the Jets 2.0 was brought to Winnipeg, Dennis Beyak will have the call of each and every Winnipeg game as they look to pull off a first-round upset.
However, the former Winnipegosis native doesn't know where he'll be stationed if things get going. He's heard some rumours that he may be in Edmonton; however, he won't be calling games on site.
"I think the NHL has handled this very well. They've taken their time, it hasn't been a rushed Return-to-Play," said Beyak who is currently in Kelowna where he lives during the summer. "We do expect something from TSN later this week as to what we're going to do, but it's all over the map right now. It does; however, look like we won't be on-site at this point."
It has also been confirmed that no fans will be allowed in the stands because of restrictions put in place to fight the coronavirus.
While Dennis has been patiently waiting to get back up in the broadcast booth, he's taken his talents to the links where he plays golf at least a few times a week.
Heading into the season, Beyak already had one ace on his resume which was made at the Shannon Lake Golf Club which is located in West Kelowna.
On June 24, Beyak added to the trophy case. Playing the 147 yard par-3, 16th hole, Beyak chucked the "perfect" shot for his second career hole-in-one, and second at the Shannon Lake Golf Club. He used an 8-iron.
"I managed to hit a good shot, it took a couple of bounces, it hit the pin, and in it went," said Beyak. "It was just one of those days where I was getting some bounces. It's always fun. It's a good feeling and it's always exciting."
Now back to hockey as Dennis continues to prepare as games will begin on August 1. Other play-in series in the Western Conference will see Edmonton playing Chicago, Nashville battles Arizona and Vancouver takes on Minnesota. In the Eastern Conference, Pittsburgh challenges Montreal; Carolina plays the Rangers, Ryan Pulock, Barry Trotz, and the Islanders battle Florida while Toronto challenges Columbus.
"I don't think there are any questions whether the play-in round will bring upsets or not, I think it certainly will," said Beyak. "I think most people are looking at the Montreal series. Carey Price can play like he's the best in the world and if he does, he can steal a series."
Beyak's road to this year's 24 team playoffs has been lengthy and very successful. His first play-by-play job was with the Flin Flon Bombers of the Western Canada Hockey League in 1970. He also provided commentary for the Saskatoon Blades, Victoria Cougars, and Seattle Thunderbirds, all of the Western Hockey League.
His first NHL broadcasting job was with CFRN-TV where he called Edmonton Oilers games. Prior to moving to Winnipeg to call Jets game, he also called games for the Toronto Marlies and Toronto Maple Leafs.
So many years later, calling hockey games professionally is still a passion of Dennis' and it's something that never gets old and when it comes to who he believes can win the series between Winnipeg and Calgary, he's confident in the team he's called games for, for nearly a decade.
"I think the Jets are probably going to be favoured. We talk about goaltending in a short series, that's going to be huge in this series," ended Beyak. "Anything can happen in a short series, but I do think Winnipeg is the better team. The coaches will also have both teams extremely prepared; there is nothing that these teams won't know about each other."
You can hear Darnell Duff's full interview with Dennis right here.