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Resuming The NHL Season This Summer?
By Michael Walters
There was a conference call today at 9 AM PT between The White House and leaders of various sports leagues, including NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
President Trump told the commissioners that he hopes to have fans back in arenas and stadiums by the late summer or early fall, according to Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “They want to get back,” he said. “They’ve got to get back…. We want to get back soon, very soon. We have to open our country again.” The President also recognized “the good work being done by many teams and players” to assist their fans and communities deal with the outbreak.
It is still unclear and perhaps too early to tell if medical experts will be able to give a specific timeline to resume sports that have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The President does want the NFL season to still start on time.
The NHL’s Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly gave an interview on The Fourth Period’s “The Hot Stove” on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio today regarding the conference call with the President.
According to Daly, the decision to resume the NHL season is going to be difficult because of all the various stay-at-home orders in the different jurisdictions. This is an issue I raised recently in an article discussing how the NHL extended the self-quarantine period again until April 15th.
In the radio interview Daly said, “When we get to April 15th and we look at the world and we’ll probably make a decision in advance of April 15th as we have the last two times – we’re going be looking obviously at what’s the best and most beneficial from a health standpoint, but we’re also going to see where we are in terms of even being able to open facilities to our players. Because at this point we would not be able to. Quite frankly, once we get to a point where restrictions might be lifted in some markets, but not others, we also have to give consideration to what’s fair from a competitive standpoint if we hope to resume play this year, giving certain clubs and players a leg up over others. There is a variety of considerations, but first and foremost is the health and safety of the players and population generally.”
Listen to the entire interview here: Hot Stove with Deputy Commissioner Daly.
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April 4th, 2020