Of course tanning and puns are bad and this blog is not endorsing exposing your skin to UV rays or to making puns on the word bye.
The NHL schedule is about to get very dull and bye weeks are the reason.
The NHL and the NHLPA negotiated new rules around scheduling with the result that every team has a bye week of off days with the intent to wrap them around the All-Star Break.
This year, only six teams have their break after the ASG, so the next few days are very light on games. Players may not practice during the bye week. There are exceptions for players to access team facilities for medical reasons, so Joe Woll could theoretically hang out in Toronto for further rehab. But the Leafs aren't going to drill the power play every day, they're going to order fruity cocktails at very expensive resorts. Or goggle at their new baby, whichever.
The official start of the Leafs bye week is Sunday, the day after the Jets game, and the final day is February 4, the day before the home game against the Rangers.
The Leafs next practice can't be before 2 pm on February 4. From the MOU:
(ii) Each day of the Break shall be a day off for all purposes, except to the extent that the Players selected to participate in the All-Star Game Weekend events may have obligations during that period. A Club that commences its Break preceding All-Star Game Weekend may schedule its first post-Break practice to begin no earlier than 2:00 p.m. local time on the first day following the All-Star break, and a Club that commences its Break following the All-Star Game Weekend may schedule its first post Break practice to begin no earlier than 2:00 p.m. local time on the fifth day following the All-Star break. Subject to prior consultation with their Club to the extent reasonably practicable, Players shall be excused from the first post-Break practice if unforeseen travel delays or other compelling circumstances prevent them from participating. Further, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary elsewhere in the CBA, any Player who participates in the All-Star Game Weekend events will be excused, at his option, from attending the first post-Break practice.
Players can be loaned to the AHL in the normal manner, but only up to the last day of NHL activity. No one has to hop on a plane from their beach vacation to go join an AHL team. This is not a trade or waiver freeze, however, so any player transactions can take place. The players just don’t need to report until the week is over.
The Leafs have very few players who don't require waivers, but they do have 24 players on the roster as soon as Tyler Bertuzzi is done goggling at the baby. It is most likely that problem will be solved after the bye week, not before.
For the 10 or so Leafs players voted onto the All-Star Game roster, they get a truncated holiday, but they can opt out of that Sunday practice. The ASG starts on the evening of Thursday, February 1 with the player draft, and the skills competition and game are over by Saturday evening. Sunday has scheduled fan events only, so all players are free to return to their teams with the exception of the lucky few who are just starting their bye week.
Because the PWHL is sending players to the ASG from every team for the three-on-three showcase on Thursday night, they are completely dark starting on Monday, January 29. Toronto's last game is Friday night on the 27th, and they return to play on the Saturday of the ASG hosting Minnesota in an noon game that nicely fits in before the All-Star Game at 3 pm.
We'll have some more information for you closer to the ASG itself about the skills event the PWHL showcase and all the other (hopefully) fun things planned.
This is Connor McDavid's ASG. If it's actually fun, we're just going to make him Commissioner of the NHL.