Earlier today the NHL announced an extension of the "lockdown restrictions" placed on the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild. The teams will be forced to postpone at least two more games apiece and will continue to have their training facilities shut down until further notice. This is all, of course, in line with the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.
The NHL has now officially postponed 33 games so far this season and, frankly, there's no real end in sight. At what point do we expect all 31 teams to be healthy? What happens when an entire team has to be shut down for a month or more? There's just so much up in the air right now surrounding the NHL and COVID-19. An even bigger question though is what happens if/when the CDC can prove that on-ice cross team transmission is possible? Does the NHL effectively shut down? Longtime NHL insider Larry Brooks seems to think that this is the case.
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Oh man... I'm not sure I could take another undefined "pause" from the NHL.
Either get these guys vaccinated, return to the bubble or... he's an idea: institute rapid testing ASAP.
As it stands players are still allowed to play in the evening even if their morning/afternoon test result isn't confirmed. To me, that's absolutely insane. The NHL is taking a giant risk and as the Devils, Sabres and Wild have proven, that risk is biting them in the ass. However the NHL ends up handling this, they need to sort it out ASAP or there's no way hockey fans will see a Stanley Cup champion awarded in 2021.