Back in the NHL: phase 2 of the protocol leaves nothing to chance

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It’s perfectly reasonable to question the wisdom of going ahead with a hockey season during a global pandemic. Having more than 500 players converge in two main cities in front of no fan to play a two-month Stanley Cup tournament at the end of the summer? You would be excused for wondering if it is really worth it.

Look, I’m not here to discuss the moral level that the NHL is pushing so hard to finish the 2019-20 campaign. And they and the players are counting on feedback from some of the world’s best experts to put their return-to-play protocol in place. Truth be told, I’m still not sure they can do it. But what I do know is that the league has been working with the NHL Players’ Association like never before, asking the right people the right questions and doing their homework.

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It is not the equivalent of the president of one of the superpowers of the world who strikes the golf course when the balance sheet of his country because of COVID-19 approaches 100,000. Nor is it the equivalent to thousands of people in Canada’s largest city who flock to a public park and stand up. If you want to scold the NHL for insisting on going ahead, that’s right. But what the league and the players cannot be accused of is doing it at all costs and doing it willy-nilly in the face of science. Phase 2 of the return to play protocol, which was rolled out by the league on Monday, is a clear example.



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