As the NHL gets ready to return to play, more details are emerging about how the NHL will handle potential COVID-19 cases within the bubble? We’ve got some some Links, News, and Notes for you on this Monday:
As was indicated in the NHL/NHLPA media avail yesterday, teams are being directed to use specific terminology in describing players absence. Beginning tomorrow, the NHL wants clubs to use the terms “not fit to play” or “unable to practice” to explain any player’s absence.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 12, 2020
- We’re also starting to see a few players opt out of playing due to concerns about the pandemic. TSN has a running tally of all the players who have chosen not to play. Any players who wish to opt out have to make that decision by tonight, so expect to see more announcements soon. The one exception is Max Domi of the Montreal Canadiens, who is immunocompromised and has been afforded 7 to 10 days to figure out if it is safe for him to play hockey and potentially expose himself to a virus that could very well kill him.
- Two people who definitely won’t be opting out of pandemic hockey are Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who, according to this piece from The Athletic (I’m sharing the screenshots for anyone who isn’t subscribed), have been eager to get back to training for a long time and seem to be putting pressure on their teammates to come back. While it’s unsurprising that players as competitive as these two want to win another Cup, it sure reads like also another example of hockey culture prioritizing winning over player health and safety.
yikes no one on this team is opting out pic.twitter.com/mKevEH4HTf— gay mac rules (@Theradkey) July 11, 2020
- A lot of fans are concerned about what might happen if the NHL does see a major outbreak during the playoffs. According to Sportsnet, the playoffs “would only be shut down if doctors felt the virus had spiraled out of control among the NHL population, rather than being tied to “X” number of positive tests.” In other words, we’re not sure where the line is.
- In fun NHL news, the league has announced the hotel assignments, and oh my goodness do they sound fun! The Flyers, Penguins and Capitals all in the same hotel? If I wasn’t worried about their health, I’d request a reality TV show.
Here are the hotel assignments, teams cannot leave this bubble environment once Phase 4 starts. pic.twitter.com/iiMxPa3utG— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) July 9, 2020
By the way, as a longtime reader and writer of fanfiction (though, admittedly, not someone who has ever had any interest in fanfiction about real people), my mind immediately jumped to the potential for excellent fic about this situation. I was tragically unable to find any, but rest assured, it will start to show up — and I will be reading and sharing it.
- In actual Sens news, Hailey Salvain and Graeme Nichols discussed how the CBA will impact the Sens in the latest edition of the Common Sens Podcast!
- Finally, CBC recently released an excellent documentary about LGBTQ+ athletes that I would highly recommend checking out!