COVID-19 positive cases should be of great concern for NHL

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If the league fails to resolve the issue before going to the main cities, it could find itself in a situation similar to MLS is Back Tournament.

The NHL has spent a great deal of time and money ensuring that its players, coaches and staff remain healthy after being placed in bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton on July 24 for a return to the game. Thu July 30.

But the key to a successful revival may be the way in which teams and individual players navigate through time leading to the bubble in the two main cities for the 24-team post-season tournament.

The Canadians and 23 other teams will start training camp on Monday, and although there will be attempts to isolate the players, there will be no bubble. Some players will stay at home and others in hotels. They can eat in restaurants and some Canadians may even be tempted to walk on the road from the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard to Quartier DIX30 and have a beer after practice at Mile Public House, the site of a last outbreak of COVID-19 last. the week.

You hope players will be smart and do everything they can to avoid getting infected. But there is evidence that some players have not been careful enough.

The NHL began testing COVID-19 on June 8 when players were allowed to meet to train in small groups at the team’s facilities. On Tuesday, the NHL reported that 23 players tested positive. The NHL, which does not identify the players or teams involved, said 12 more players tested positive outside of the training program.

When the NHL first announced its return to play protocol, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was asked what would happen if a player were positive and replied that it would not interrupt play. question now becomes: what does the league do if a significant number of players are infected?

You could say that the NHL is on the verge of reaching that figure. The 35 positive tests indicate that almost 6% of NHL players have contracted COVID-19. For comparison, the infection rate in the United States, which is at the epicenter of the pandemic, is less than 1%.

If the NHL does not master this problem before heading to major cities, it runs the risk of facing the same chaos that has disrupted the return to play of MLS. The soccer league burst its bubble at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando and the result is that two teams – FC Dallas and Nashville SC – were pulled from the MLS Is Back tournament after experiencing epidemics.

Newcomers to Brossard: Joel Armia, Artturi Lehkonen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi have skated for the first time Thursday in Brossard since the closing of the NHL season on March 12 due to COVID-19. This brings the number of players skating in Brossard to 22. They participate in voluntary small group training as part of phase 2 of the NHL return to play plan.

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