Unprecedented times, never seen before, don’t know what to expect… All of these words are said more than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic has effected our lives, since the National Hockey League was forced to suspend its activities back on March 12.
At least, we get the game back shortly, thanks to the 24-team playoff tournament, which kicks off on August 1st, but there again it is a first in the NHL.
And of course, that means that a lot of things will have to change, which appears to include the much believed, sacred handshake line…
According to Boston Bruins insider Fluto Shinzawa, the NHL is thinking about removing or altering the famous handshake line after a team’s elimination, but no official decision has yet to be made on the matter.
“Hasn’t been specifically addressed yet,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email. “Some type of lineup and opponent acknowledgment will likely be permitted.”
Everyone is a fan of the sacred handshake line, and we would feel robbed of something if it were completely taken away from the competition. We’ve seen great moves during those lines, admiration and support from rivals, and it feels like that’s what the world needs at the moment.
“It’s a great part of the game. Great tradition,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I’m a big fan of it. It just shows the mutual respect players have for one another. Especially after a tough, physical series. To be able to look the opposition in the eye and congratulate them or they congratulate you, I like it.”
As Shinzawa points out, it would be heart-breaking to see it go, even if we don’t have the privilege to shake hands anymore in real life.
“The handshake line is one of the NHL’s treasures. In the playoffs, enemies pound and slash and hammer each other for as many as seven games. But at the conclusion of said Game 7, everybody remains on the ice, extends an ungloved right hand and proceeds through the handshake line before retiring to their dressing rooms.”
Let’s hope we don’t lose the handshake line… let’s hope it remains as sacred as everyone sees it.