NHL’s chief medical officer provides an update on when the league will resume

Straight from the league's head offices in New York.

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It’s pretty safe to say that the hockey world… scratch that… the ENTIRE world is waking up everyday and hoping for some good news. News that new cases of COVID-19 are on the decline, news of a potential new vaccine… any positive news concerning the global pandemic.

With respect to hockey and the NHL, we’re all waiting on an announcement on the resumption of the 2019-20 season and Stanley Cup Playoffs. Well… don’t hold your breath…

NHL insider Pierre LeBrun managed to speak directly to NHL chief medical officer Dr. Willem Meeuwisee earlier today and the doctor’s prognosis for the season was not good.

Check out these quotes from Dr. Meeuwisse courtesy of LeBrun’s column for The Athletic:

“I think we need to have a number of criteria,’’ Dr. Willem Meeuwisse responded when asked when the league could resume. “The specific circumstances are obviously going to depend on the pattern of the disease and specific risks at that time. That’s one of the difficulties, this thing is changing daily. And guidance from health authorities is changing daily based on the changing circumstances. I mean if we think of bringing people back together, we’d want to have some confidence that the players and the staff themselves are healthy, some confidence the players are not infectious at that time and that bringing them back together even in small groups would not increase the risk of contracting or transmitting the coronavirus. 

“And then we’d have to place that in the context of the larger society and the fact that we have people in 31 different market cities. And they’re likely to differ one city to the next.’’

In other words, “I don’t know, but don’t hold your breath.”

“The first step that we anticipate maybe taking place is bringing people together in small groups,” Dr. Meeuwisse said. “But the timeline for that at this point is very difficult to articulate. While it’s rapidly accelerating, the risk in the general population is probably increasing rather than decreasing, so until we see where the peak is going to be, and how high that peak is going to be, it’s very difficult to give a definitive timeline.’’

Here’s hoping we can get to this next phase the moment it is safe and prudent to do so.

For LeBrun's full article, click below: