Empty Arenas, Voluntary Workouts, and more!

It’s the Monday Edition of Links, News, and Notes!

It’s the beginning of another week, and as the summer begins to return, there seems to be more news items by the day. It seems coverage has been overwhelmingly negative for God knows how long now, but with sports slowly making their way back, it seems like things may be a little bit lighter for awhile.

One can hope, right?

Here are your Monday Links, News, and Notes.

  • When NHL hockey does resume, it will do so without fans in attendance. It’ll certainly be strange to not have that familiar playoff atmosphere, and Joshua Clipperton of The Canadian Press has an interesting piece delving into this further. He spoke to the Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse about how players will have to adapt:/

“You see [Michael Jordan’s] mindset … creating your own environment, creating your own fire,” Nurse said. “I think that’s a test everyone in this situation is going to have to go through.

“Having the ability to create your own excitement.”

I have no doubt these guys will bring the fire with the Stanley Cup on the line.

  • If you’re not familiar with Kayla Grey, you really should be. A SportsCentre anchor for TSN, Grey is not only phenomenal at what she does, but she’s also been as strong a voice as any for the Black community./

Grey made headlines this past week when she got into a Twitter altercation with writer Tim McClure. She took exception to McClure, a white man, not censoring the n-word when quoting Sheri Forde, who is also white, in discussion about the racism her Black husband and son faced.

Regardless of where you land on the issue, Grey handled herself with nothing but class and strength:

For what it’s worth, I’m with Kayla Grey on this. She doesn’t have a thing to apologize for.

  • We’re still a ways away from the puck dropping on the 2020 playoffs, but things are slowly kicking back into high gear. NHL.com has a cool story about players taking part in voluntary workouts, and displaying some of their perspectives about returning:/

“You feel like a kid again, honestly,” [Mark] Giordano, the Flames captain, told the Calgary Herald. “I’ve never taken three months (off), I don’t think, in my whole career. To be able to get back on the ice today was refreshing, to pass the puck and shoot the puck. ... All those sort of little things you forget about. It felt good.”

  • Picking a hub city for the playoffs to resume has been a contentious issue. While everyone is obviously biased, the only folks having a say in this should be the medical professionals. John Matisz of The Score spoke to some of those medical professionals and got their thoughts on the Return to Play:/

Zachary Binney (epidemiologist and assistant professor at Oxford College of Emory University): You’re going to have to watch out for two things. One is clusters of cases on the same team. If you start seeing three or four guys who are sick at the same time, even with daily testing, that would really worry me. You would probably want to shut that team down for two weeks. What does that do in terms of their practice schedule and their ability to get started again and stay on schedule with the rest of the NHL teams? I don’t know. But that’s something I’d be worried about.

Another thing I’ll be on the lookout for is any explosive outbreak or signs of overwhelming a healthcare system in the hub cities that are chosen. That would obviously disrupt everything massively. Unless you have a backup hub, I’m not sure how the NHL would be able to recover from that. I would also be worried about an explosive outbreak within any team and any city having training camp. That could be shut down - and even if it isn’t shut down, you could argue that they really should be keeping players and staff at home as much as possible, both to contribute to public health and to reduce the chance that they get sick if you have a lot of cases floating around. That’s going to have to be a decision that each team makes and is prepared for.

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