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NHLers face new normal as league prepares to ramp up toward return to play - Sportsnet.ca
What resonates most about the NHL’s return-to-sport protocol is how much effort will be required just to get six players working out inside the rink together, never mind what’s still to come.
Before NHL players are permitted to step back inside a team facility they must first have a swab inserted roughly four centimetres into their nasal cavity. Laboratory-based RT-PCR testing is used to detect any active or recent infection with COVID-19, and will be administered 48 hours prior. The next stage of life in the time of the novel coronavirus for players and team staff will then include at least two more of those tests each week, plus daily temperature and symptom checks — one self-administered at home and another from medical personnel upon arrival at the facility. All of that just to walk through the door. You want to get on the ice? Well, theres a pre-participation medical exam, which includes an EKG test and screening for pre-existing conditions, to be administered before that can happen. What resonates most about the NHLs return-to-sport protocol is how much meticulous effort will be required just to get six players working out inside the rink together, never mind whats still to come when teams progress to training camps or actually start playing games again. The league hopes to reopen team facilities for small-group workouts as soon as next week and has set out the requirements for doing so. The protocol distributed to teams and players early Monday leaves no detail uncovered and paints a scene unlike any that would typically play out in these buildings. On the ice, no more than six players are allowed to participate in non-contact skates at a time. Coaches, including those for skating and skills, cant take part (an exception will be granted for goalie coaches after the first week of training). Off the ice, everyone must remain at least six feet apart and players are discouraged from socializing with one another. A cloth or surgical mask must be worn when entering and exiting the building and at any point where social distancing cant be maintained. Exercise and weight room equipment is permitted for use, providing a spotter isnt required, and players can receive individual treatment from athletic therapists and team doctors. But they wont be granted access to saunas, hot tubs or steam rooms and are encouraged to shower at home whenever possible. The groups of six (or less) will remain constant and essentially be assigned a rotating shift for when theyre allowed in the facility. Where possible, teams have been told to assign a different athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach and equipment manager to each group. That will ensure any infection or exposure will be contained within the group and should help facilitate contact tracing. The facility must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each training session. That includes locker-room areas and circuit-based training equipment. Players are required to leave all workout gear inside the facility for cleaning and can only take supplements provided in single-dispense packs. Single-use beverages or snacks such as power bars can be consumed by players inside the facility, but any meals prepared and packaged by the catering staff must be taken home before theyre eaten. This promises to be a different experience for players who largely havent been back inside team facilities since the season was paused on March 12. The small-group sessions starting in early June are strictly voluntary, but theyre viewed as an important step in trying to complete a 24-team tournament for the Stanley Cup — especially for the large number of guys unable to skate during the last three months. The detailed nature of protocols being put in place reflect how challenging it is to contain the spread of germs in a team environment, and the NHL acknowledged in its Monday memo that they cannot mitigate all risk. A range of clinical scenarios exist, from very mild to fatal outcome, the league wrote. Anyone who develops symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19, or shares a home with someone who does, must immediately notify the teams medical staff. They will be isolated and provided treatment, if needed. There could be serious consequences for any teams that dont comply with the measures put in place by the league. Penalties include fines, loss of draft choices, and ineligibility to participate in the resumption of play.
NHL releases document detailing Phase 2 protocols for return to play - Sportsnet.ca
The NHL released a document on Monday detailing Phase Two of its return-to-play plan as the league and its players continue to figure out if, how, and when the NHL can safely return this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NHL released a document on Monday detailing Phase 2 of its return-to-play plan as the league and its players continue to figure out if, how, and when the NHL can safely return this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 2 includes protocols for testing, opening practice facilities for small group workouts, and the wearing of personal protective equipment when entering and leaving club facilities. Per the memorandum, the league is currently targeting early June for the introduction of this second phase, though no firm date has been set. With the NHL looking to transition to Phase 2 (small group workouts) as soon as next week, it's clear those voluntary sessions will be fairly restricted. Six players max in the team facility at a time and no coaching involvement for on-ice work. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 25, 2020 Players from other NHL teams will be permitted access to team facilities in an area where they reside, subject to scheduling and staff availability. As a result, North Ametican-based players do not have to rush back to their playing cities in order to participate in Phase 2. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 25, 2020 Monday’s document does not include any dates or guidelines around training camps or the resumption of the 2019-20 campaign. On Friday, player representatives from all 31 teams voted and agreed upon a 24-team playoff format — a big step in the league’s effort to bring the game back and ultimately crown a Stanley Cup champion. Even with this affirmative vote, there are still some details with the 24-team playoff format still to be worked out between the NHL and NHLPA. One of them is whether they'll go ahead with a playoff bracket or use reseeding. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 23, 2020 The league has been suspended since March 12, and is still in the Phase 1 as players remain under league-mandated quarantine. Below are some of the guidelines released Monday: Opening practice facilities:Clubs will be allowed to reopen training facilities in their home cities under Phase 2, though distancing measures will still be in effect a maximum of six players will be allowed to practise at once, plus a limited number of team staff. Individualized training activities will be conducted on a voluntary basis, prioritizing the health and concerns of players and staff. Per the NHL’s document: “This activity will be permitted only in those jurisdictions where the applicable health authorities have sufficiently relaxed local restrictions to permit such gatherings. Clubs whose local health authorities would allow for the reopening of Club facilities will be required to consult with and seek approval from the League prior to any reopening of Club facilities. In those jurisdictions which continue to restrict or prohibit such activity from occurring, and in order to address potential competitive concerns, the League will work with those Clubs to facilitate alternative arrangements, if desired.” Travel to club cities:When the NHL first ordered its players to self-quarantine, many left their teams cities and returned to off-season homes. Individuals travelling via public transportation by commercial flight or rail must self-quarantine for 14 days in their club city prior to engaging in any training activities at the club facility. Other players may also be asked to self-quarantine, regardless of their mode of transportation, upon returning including those returning from a high-risk environment, and those landing in areas whose local authorities continue to impose a quarantine period for any travellers. Not all players maintain a residence in their club cities most notably AHL players. The league states that teams will provide separate hotel accommodations for the duration of Phase 2 and Phase 3 (training camp) activities in their club cities. Symptom checks and testing:All players and personnel permitted to access training facilities will be tested 48 hours prior to entering, followed by regular testing (twice weekly) throughout Phase 2. Results will be made available within 24 hours. No player will be permitted to use club facilities without a negative test. The league issued these testing guidelines with community demand in mind: As an over-riding principle, testing of asymptomatic Players and Club personnel must be done in the context of excess testing capacity, so as to not deprive health care workers, vulnerable populations and symptomatic individuals from necessary diagnostic tests. Players and personnel must also complete symptom and temperature checks in accordance with a standardized self-screening checklist. Daily checks will be self-administered by players and personnel at home prior to departing for club facilities, followed by another check at the entrance of the teams facility prior to entry (to be administered by a designated Club Facility Hygiene Officer). Positive tests:Anyone who develops symptoms must immediately notify his teams medical staff and self-isolate until a medical evaluation can take place. A positive test will result in the player being designated unfit to play and his condition shall be treated as a hockey related injury for all purposes under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, unless it is established, based on the facts at issue, that the Player contracted COVID19 or the resulting or related illness outside the course of his employment as a hockey player. Care of an infected player will be co-ordinated by the teams medical staff in consultation with its infectious disease specialist. More to come.
‘Game 6: The Movie’ on Bulls-Jazz finale to air on Sportsnet May 24 - Sportsnet.ca
Sports fans got to relive the finale to the Chicago Bulls dynasty in 'The Last Dance.' Now, they can relive Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals in a whole new way.
Sports fans got to relive the final season of the Chicago Bulls dynasty in ‘The Last Dance’ series. Now, they can relive Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals in a whole new way. On Sunday, May 24, fans can tune into Sportsnet to watch Game 6: The Movie, a two-and-a-half hour cinematic production of Chicago’s championship-clinching win over the Utah Jazz. The broadcast (8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT) will feature never-before-seen footage captured by NBA Entertainment cameras 22 years ago and the original game commentary from Bob Costas, Isiah Thomas, Doug Collins, Ahmad Rashad and Jim Gray. The Bulls beat the Jazz 87-86 to win their sixth NBA title in eight seasons. Michael Jordan hit the winning shot with under six seconds left in the game to cap off a historic run of six NBA Finals, six championship wins and six NBA Finals MVP trophies. Welcome back to Instagram. Sign in to check out what your friends, family & interests have been capturing & sharing around the world. The Bulls dynasty was dismantled the following summer, with head coach Phil Jackson and stars Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr among those who left, making this game against the Jazz the last time fans would see the Bulls in the playoffs until 2005. Jordan would retire from the game (for the second time) in January of 1999, before later returning to play with the Washington Wizards.
NHL, NHLPA working on 24-team conference-based playoff setup - Sportsnet.ca
As the “Return to Play” Committee continues to negotiate various NHL playoff scenarios, multiple sources indicate the NHL and NHLPA are working on a 24-team conference-based playoff setup.
As the Return to Play Committee continues to negotiate various NHL playoff scenarios, multiple sources indicate the NHL and NHLPA are working on a 24-team conference-based playoff setup. Lets be clear: nothing is set in stone. The teams and players must still approve it, but discussions on the proposal could happen as soon as Thursday. And while nothing has been finalized at this stage, the NHL and NHLPA have a framework to at least discuss with their constituents. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 21, 2020 There is a call with the NHLPA's executive board scheduled for tomorrow where return-to-play matters will be discussed, including the format. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 21, 2020 The top four seeds (based on points percentage) in the East would be Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia. Top four in the West would be St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas. They would receive byes through the play-in, but participate in a three-game tournament to get some action. I confess Im not certain of all the details on if or how it would affect playoff seeding. The rest of the playoffs would be bracketed. That means, in both conferences 5 vs. 12 (winner plays four seed), 6 vs. 11 (winner plays three seed), 7 vs. 10 (winner plays two seed) and 8 vs. 9 (winner plays one seed). So that would mean an opening round of: Pittsburgh/Montreal; Carolina/Rangers; Islanders/Florida and Toronto/Columbus in the East and Edmonton/Chicago; Nashville/Arizona; Vancouver/Minnesota; Calgary/Winnipeg in the West. The play-in series would be a best-of-five. The rest of the playoffs would be best-of-seven. Once again, it depends on approval from both the teams and players — which could come over the next few days.
Leafs’ Barrie at peace despite uncertainty around free agency, NHL season - Sportsnet.ca
There are no shortage of things Tyson Barrie could be worried about -- like the damage being done to the NHL’s business at the precise moment he’s coming up for a new contract -- but he seems at peace with whatever comes next.
TORONTO — Before Tyson Barries contract year was paused by a pandemic, it featured one of the longest scoring droughts of his entire life. It saw a coaching change flip his fortunes with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but still included an uncomfortable couple of days leading up to the trade deadline while the team explored his market. Yeah, you can say the offensive-minded defenceman has seen some things over the last several months. And here he is on May 20 back home in Victoria waiting to find out if the next act of his professional life will include returning to the ice with the Leafs for a playoffs unlike any other, or going off in search of his next contract as an unrestricted free agent. Its a weird time to be heading into free agency, thats for sure, Barrie said Wednesday. Its an odd time, but at this point, I think all Ive got to do right now is focus on getting ready to play, if we are going to play, and to take a run with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs. Thats why they brought me in and that would be pretty spectacular, so hopefully we get a chance to do that. There really doesnt seem to be any illusion about the Leafs being a longer-term option for Barrie. While they may have a continuing need for capable right shots on their blue line, the fit has never been quite right between team and player. Its telling that Barries first thought when asked for his free-agent priorities is just that — fit. I think it has to be a spot where they obviously are in need of someone like myself and a good team heading in the right direction and a good organization, he said. I think theres a lot of organizations that fit those boxes, so itll be a process where you sit down and just go through everything and whats important to me. Barrie arrived in Toronto last July 1 as a key part of a mini-blockbuster that saw Nazem Kadri sent to the Colorado Avalanche for him and Alexander Kerfoot. Coming off a 59-point season with the only NHL team hed ever known, Barrie wasnt initially deployed on the Leafs’ top power-play unit by former coach Mike Babcock. That certainly contributed to an agonizing 18-game stretch where he recorded just one assist and faced some self-doubt. It is no coincidence that one of Sheldon Keefes first acts after replacing Babcock on Nov. 20 was moving Barrie up to PP1 and, with the weight of the world shifted from the players shoulders, saw him immediately respond with goals in consecutive games. Looking back, the 28-year-old is proud that he resisted any instinct to change how he plays during that rocky start. Water eventually started to find its level and Barrie had 39 points through 70 games when the season was paused — behind the pace of his previous two seasons, but still good for 22nd among all NHL defencemen after the worst two-month start of his career. Im not sure I ever gave enough credit to guys who get traded and have to kind of change their whole lives and move and come into a new team and fit in right away, said Barrie. I think its a little tougher than I gave credit for. Im glad Ive had the experience to see that first-hand. The entire sport remains in limbo because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Barrie seems eager to finish what he started in Toronto. He concedes that the playoff formats being discussed arent ideal and is trying to approach the possibility of going inside a bubble in a hub city the same way he would when hes represented Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Europe. I think in a time like this how could anything be super traditional? said Barrie. I think the integrity (of the playoffs) will be there because its still going to be the best players in the world playing against each other for the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup. It will certainly be weird without fans, or whatever the scenario unfolds to be, but I think we all have to adapt and be willing to adapt and kind of realize that its not going to be this perfect, classic NHL playoffs. I think for the situation that were in, for a year, I think thats fine. Barrie has found some solace during the 10-week quarantine on daily walks with his dog, Ralph. He loves spending time outdoors and says the weather on Vancouver Island has been ideal. As with pretty much everyone right now, there is no shortage of things he could be worried about — like the damage being done to the NHLs business at the precise moment hes coming up for a new contract — but Barrie seems at peace with whatever comes next. Its one of those things where I think you work a long time to get to a point where youre a free agent and teams want you, he said. For sure theres been moments where it seems a little dire, but I think for me just keeping in perspective what is going on in the world (has helped). At the end of the day, Im very blessed and fortunate to be able to play a sport and make a good living doing it.”
Horace Grant speaks out about how he was depicted in ‘The Last Dance’ - Sportsnet.ca
Horace Grant, who won three titles alongside Michael Jordan in Chicago and is featured in 'The Last Dance' spoke out with harsh words for Jordan and the docu-series in an interview with ESPN 1000 Chicago on Tuesday.
After making waves among NBA fans and the sports world at large as the majority of professional sports remain shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ is causing a stir among some depicted in the documentary series as well. Horace Grant — who won three championships alongside Michael Jordan during his time in Chicago, and was featured numerous times in the series — offered up a harsh critique of the documentary Tuesday in an interview with David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 Chicago’s Kap & Co. program. Tops among Grant’s issues with ‘The Last Dance’ was how he was depicted, particularly in the section that suggested Grant was the source of Sam Smith’s book The Jordan Rules, which caused controversy in the early-’90s for its unflattering depiction of Jordan. Said Grant about Jordan’s claim that it was he who leaked much of the info to Smith for the book: As I stated to everybody, that is a downright, outright, completely lie. Lie, lie, lie,” Grant told Kaplan. “If MJ had a grudge with me, let’s settle it like men. Lets talk about it, or we can settle it another way. But yet and still, he goes out and puts this lie out that I was the source behind [the book]. Sam and I have always been great friends. We’re still great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there. “The mere fact that Sam Smith was an investigative reporter, that he had to have two sources, two, to write a book, I guess — why would MJ just point me out? It’s only a grudge, man. I’m telling you, it was only a grudge. And I think he proved that during this so-called documentary, when, if you say something about him, he’s going to cut you off — he’s going to try to destroy your character.” Grant also took umbrage with the notion that ‘The Last Dance’ depicts a wholly truthful account of Jordan’s tenure with the Bulls, given Jordan’s own involvement with the series’ production — a critique others have made recently as well. “When that so-called documentary is about one person, basically, and he has the last word on whats going to be put out there, whats going to be put out there is not a documentary,” Grant said. “Its his narrative of what happened in the Last, quote-unquote, Dance. Thats not a documentary. Because a whole bunch of things was cut out, edited out. Thats why I call it a ‘so-called documentary.'” Earlier in the interview, Grant pointed specifically to the treatment of Jordan’s trash-talking to teammates in discussing his thoughts on the truthfulness of the series. “We know — who was there as teammates — that about 90 per cent of it was, I don’t know if I can say it on air, but B.S. in terms of the realness of it,” Grant told Kaplan. “It wasn’t real. Because a lot of things he said to some of his teammates, that his teammates went back at him. But all of that was kind of edited out of the documentary, if you want to call it a documentary.” The former NBA All-Star also criticized the series’ depiction of Scottie Pippen, when asked by Kaplan if Pippen was portrayed unfairly — most notably in regards to its handling of Pippen’s decision to sit out the final seconds of a playoff game in ’94. “I have never seen a quote-unquote ‘No. 2 guy’ as decorated as Scottie Pippen portrayed so badly. In terms of the migraine, in terms of the 1. seconds, [being called] selfish. I have never seen this in all of my life,” Grant said. “Pip was out there in Game 6, could barely walk, getting knocked down on his back, trying to do whatever he could to help that team. My point is, why was that 1. seconds in the documentary, so-called documentary, about Pip? MJ wasn’t even on the team. Why was that in there? “We handled that that year really well as a team. Pip knows that he was wrong for doing it. We went after the game, Bill Cartwright stood up and said what he had to say, and then we handled it. It was over. It was over. We go on to take the Knicks to seven games. It was over. Why bring that up? That’s my question to everybody out there who’s listening.” Grant parted ways with the Bulls in 1994, joining the Shaquille O’Neal-Penny Hardaway Magic as a free agent and reaching the NBA Finals with Orlando in ’95. He also spent time with the Seattle SuperSonics and the Los Angeles Lakers, winning his fourth title with the latter franchise in 2001 alongside O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Asked if he and Jordan still speak, Grant said they haven’t communicated since a text message conversation roughly three years ago, but that he’d pay his respects to his former teammate if he saw him today. “The craziest thing is that for one of my charities, he sent me an autographed pair of shoes. I dont understand it — if he has some difference with me, he couldve texted me, he couldve called me, the whole nine yards. But if I see him today, we would hopefully pay our respects to each other, because we went through three championships together,” Grant said. “But if not, believe me, Im not going to lose any sleep over it.”
Utah man claims he made Michael Jordan pizza night before ‘flu game’ - Sportsnet.ca
A Utah man is claiming he's the one who delivered Michael Jordan pizza the night before his famous "flu game" in the 1997 NBA Finals, but he says he has no idea why Jordan got sick from the food.
A Utah man is claiming he’s the one who delivered Michael Jordan pizza the night before his famous “flu game” in the 1997 NBA Finals, but he says he has no idea why Jordan got sick from the food. Craig Fite says he was working for Pizza Hut at the time and was a huge Chicago Bulls fan. In an interview with 1280 The Zone in Salt Lake City on Monday, Fite explained that someone from the Bulls called the store where he was working as an assistant manager and ordered “large, thin and crispy, extra pepperoni pizza,” without saying whom it was for. Fite, as the only Bulls fan working, says he took it upon himself to make the pizza and go with the driver on the delivery to make sure nothing happened to it. “The pizza basically never left me,” he says. Fite says he had to go through security to get into the Marriott hotel where the Bulls were staying and that Jordan didn’t answer the door, but did wave and say thanks to him from a chair in his hotel room. Fite then says he left and was surprised when he tuned in to watch Game 5 the next night to hear it announced that Jordan had food poisoning. On Episode 9 of the ESPN documentary series “The Last Dance,” Jordan, his personal trainer Tim Grover and his longtime friend George Koehler explained that Jordan ate an entire pizza the night before Game 5 and woke up feeling sick. He almost didn’t dress for the game, but ultimately did and dropped 38 points to give the Bulls a 3-2 series lead. While there’s no way to know what ultimately caused Jordan to get sick, Fite is adamant he did nothing wrong. “That pizza was made well, I followed all the rules,” Fite says. “I’m 100 per cent certain it wasn’t food poisoning or it for sure as heck wasn’t that pizza.”
Maple Leafs’ John Tavares on ‘sense of urgency’ to finalize restart format - Sportsnet.ca
While the NHL's 2019-20 campaign remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league's Return to Play Committee is pushing ahead with a "great sense of urgency" to finalize what a return might look like, Maple Leafs captain John Tavares told Sports Ill…
While the NHL’s 2019-20 campaign remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league’s Return to Play Committee continues to push ahead on trying to figure out what exactly a potential return would look like, if one is eventually able to come about. According to Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving, per Sportsnet’s Eric Francis, news on a potential return-to-play format could come as soon as this week, as talks among the committee have picked up. On Monday, we highlighted four key issues that could soon be sorted out, in fact — the potential hub cities, the return-to-play format as a whole, the draft lottery and the 2020 NHL Draft itself. In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Alex Prewitt published Monday, Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares echoed the sentiment that the Return to Play Committee is pushing towards finalizing a restart format sooner rather than later. Tavares told Prewitt there is a “great sense of urgency” among the Return to Play Committee — which includes Tavares, fellow star Connor McDavid, commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, among others — to finalize what exactly the league’s potential return might look like. “Obviously when [exactly] that will be, we dont know But in terms of how to finish the season, and how to award the Stanley Cup, I think we want to get something figured out soon.” The Maple Leafs pivot said providing some clarity on a potential format would be beneficial to all involved, granting time to adjust to the “new normal” that will need to be established. Weve obviously gone a pretty significant amount of time in terms of following the stay-at-home protocols, social distancing, not being able to go to team facilities and train, Tavares told Prewitt. Mentally its challenging to not really know. We still have so many unknowns. We really cant answer a lot of stuff. But if were able to at least understand what coming back will look like, if were able to come back, it can give a little bit of clarity so everyone can wrap their head and mentally prepare for what things may look and feel like. “Because itll obviously be very different than what were used to on a daily basis. Its going to be a new normal, if were going to be able to play, or when. I spoke to Leafs captain John Tavares about joining the NHL's Return to Play committee, the current "great sense of urgency" to finalize a restart format (24-team proposal has been "kicked around the most"), and the mental challenge of "so many unknowns." https://t.co/SxAQxJutrh — Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) May 18, 2020 As reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the 24-team structure appears to be the most-discussed option up to this point. Tavares confirmed as much, telling Prewitt it’s been “kicked around the most,” but that nothing has been officially decided yet. However, the former New York Islander added that he’s not yet sold on the 24-team format. Im not sure Im completely 100 per cent sold on any format, Tavares told Sports Illustrated. But the biggest thing is honouring the regular season as best as we can while still giving each team that deserves the opportunity, or still has an opportunity to make the playoffs, to be a part of that. Aside from the overall structure of the league’s potential return, Tavares touched on more specific details in need of addressing, too, with the amount of contact involved in everyday NHL life sure to necessitate guidelines extending into all aspects of movement in and around the game. Im sure when you come to the rink, the entrance you come in, how you interact, the normal things you do that you take for granted on a daily basis will be a lot different, Tavares told Prewitt. Theres a lot of talk about temperature checks, the possibilities of wearing masks thats all the stuff were discussing. Whats safe? Whats not? What makes sense? What doesnt? Is this possible? Is this not? Theres so many different things to cover and it continues to evolve. There’s also the matter of players’ families and how they fit into the potential plan of having players relocate to hub cities for an extended period while the post-season is played out. The Maple Leafs captain called that aspect a “focal point” of any return-to-play plan. Obviously the family situation has been paramount. From the get-go, the league has continued to talk about understanding those concerns,” Tavares told Prewitt. A lot of the calls weve had have been very positive that way. That continues to be a focal point in terms of the things that have to check the boxes for us, and for the league as well.
Report: Bettman not contemplating cancelling remainder of NHL season - Sportsnet.ca
As the NHL continues to weigh its options amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cancelling the season altogether reportedly isn't one of them.
As the NHL continues to weigh its options amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cancelling the season altogether reportedly isn’t one of them. During a question-and-answer period as part of a virtual town hall on Tuesday, commissioner Gary Bettman told members of the San Jose Sharks’ business alliance that shutting down the 2019-20 campaign and not handing out the Stanley Cup is not something Im even contemplating. I believe that if the right time comes, and the right circumstances, based on all of the options that were considering and our ability to execute them, well get this season done, Bettman said, via Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News. I dont want to sound Pollyanna, but cancelling is too easy a solution. That means you stop working hard to do all of the things that were doing, and I ultimately believe that there will be an opportunity. Over the past few weeks, the U.S. has seen some states begin to open back up. Some Canadian provinces and cities are also beginning to ease restrictions. States are re-opening, cities are re-opening, Bettman said. And if we do the right things, I think well be able to finish the season. The NHL has been on hold since March 12. The biggest question in the game today, aside from whether the league will resume playing, is what a return to play would look like — be it finishing up the regulation season in some fashion (189 games still remain on the docket) or jumping right into an altered playoff scenario. We would like to bring a conclusion to this season, Bettman said. Its got to be fair, its got to have integrity, and if we have to do it over the summer on some modified basis, then well do it on that basis.