Saturday, April 25, 2020

Restart Offerings

Every week brings new rumors and rumblings about when and if the NHL will restart their season. Time is not on the side of the NHL. Time marches on and various new restart scenarios bubble up every day. Trying to figure out what is really going to happen is like practicing haruspicy, inspecting the entrails of a sacrificed animal in order to devine the future. New ideas are offered up every day for sacrifice.

Here are some recent restart offerings to the hockey gods that caught our eye:

NY Post/Brooks:
NHL restart plans intensify with player health concerns at forefront

Reopening the league will be a massive task. Every “i” must be dotted, every “t” must be crossed. For if the NHL reopens, this will be one time when hockey will be a life and death proposition.
Fansided:
NHL will reportedly open training camps on June 1st
According to former NHL forward and All-Star Game MVP John Scott, teams will start having training sessions starting on June 1.
The Athletic:
LeBrun: Inside NHL’s centralized sites process and the latest on a June draft
...the NHL is currently in the process of vetting 12 NHL cities for the purpose of using four of them as centralized sites. (for a season resumption)
NBC Sports:
Cam Neely: No discussion with the NHL about shortening playoff rounds
The sense from the NHL and NHLPA is that there are plenty of possibilities still there to finish the regular season, complete a two-month Stanley Cup playoff and begin an 82-game regular season for 2020-21 sometime starting in November.

Finally, there is Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, making an ominous forecast:
Large sporting and entertainment events probably will not make the cut (for opening up) for a long time; the economic benefit of the live audience doesn’t measure up to the risk of spreading the infection. Other activities fall into a gray area, such as church services or a high school soccer game with a few dozen people on the sidelines.

Whatever plan emerges will have to balance the hammer (suppression) and the dance (containment) with the virus.
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