We walk a tightrope around here between providing a distraction from the realities of everyday and existence and reporting on what we consider pertinent to Senators fans. We have a lot of content lined up for you to get your minds off of COVID-19 and back onto the Sens. In the meantime, however, here are some updates on the effects of the virus around the hockey world. Please take care of each other. We can all do our part to reduce harm.
- For those of you wondering just when we might get to watch major professional sports again, expect at least eight more weeks per the CDC. Reports suggest leagues could resume mid-summer — albeit with no fans in attendance. Logistically, we have to consider policy from not only leagues, but federal, territorial, and civic governments plus the unions, and with so many moving parts. There’s no reason to expect any immediate resolutions.
- Some leagues have already confirmed the cancellation, as opposed to suspension, of their seasons. The ECHL has made the decision to focus on 2020-21 for the safety of fans, players, and staff. Ottawa’s affiliate, the Brampton Beast, will end 2019-20 with a respectable 34-25-3 record, +23 goal-differential, and a solid 84% conversion rate of the penalty kill/21% on the powerplay.
- Closer to home, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group announced that they will pay part-time employees through the suspension of the OHL season. OSEG remains optimistic about the resumption of the 67’s regular season and eventual playoffs, and hope to commence the Redblacks’ season on schedule. Is there another team in Ottawa who should pay employees to help get through the pandemic? I can’t think of one off the top of my head.
- Of course, around the NHL, a lot of financial details remain subject to change in the coming months depending on when, and if, the regular season and playoffs resume. As of right now, we don’t know how the suspension of play will affect escrow or the salary cap. Players will likely take a hit from lost venue and stream revenue, while a cap increase of $3-7M now seems less logical for 2020-21. Lucky for us, here in Ottawa, these numbers don’t mean too much.
- And finally, as I promised myself to end this on a positive note, here is another highlight package that is required viewing from the peerless Sens Prospects. Shane Pinto and the University of North Dakota ended their season with a record of 26-5-4 and were ranked third nationally as of the final update. Pinto finished his season with 16-goals, trailing just Alex Newhook and Cole Caulfield among freshmen. Pierre Dorion could prove a lot of us wrong for questioning Pinto’s selection with the 32nd overall pick in last year’s draft. Watch the tape and judge for yourself: