Right here we are in our own little hockey bubble, consisting mostly of the Boston Bruins, sometimes about other players and teams. One real world problem that we all might be thinking about is also being considered by the NHL executives: how to handle the new corona virus, Corvid-19. They are preparing.
NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, says that the NHL is taking precautions with regards to the new health risk, including best practices in health and safety. Did you know they have a subcommittee on infectious disease?
The NHL will continue to defer to health authorities as it assesses a threat for the rest of the 2019-20 season. The NHL sent out a memo to all 31 NHL teams on Friday, which, among other things, advised best practices, such as frequent hand washing for players and staff. The NHL has a joint health and safety committee featuring an infectious disease control subcommittee, which Daly said “has been on top of this.”
Of course, as the virus spreads, it may make playoff season a little more difficult for the NHL and NHL teams. One thing on the table is cancelling and postponing games, which would only occur if NHL cities become epicenters for the coronavirus. The NHL is also considering playing games to empty arenas to prevent the spread among their fanbases. At this time, no games are being altered in this way.
Daly said that at this time it’s looking unlikely that the NHL will travel to China during the offseason and preseason. At this time, the risk is too great and it’s also too difficult to predict what the risk situation will be. This season, the NHL didn’t travel to China due to the centennial celebrations of Chinese Communist Party and the inability to book ice arenas.
Later this year, the Bruins and Predators plan on playing the end of their preseasons in Germany (Bruins) and Switzerland (Predators) and their season openers in Prague, Czechia. At this time, the NHL is planning to continue with this schedule.
Hopefully, the NHL will not have to alter anything. With the world being what it is right now, sometimes a downright frightful place, it’s good to have the distraction of hockey, even hockey played in an empty arena played by healthy, relative young men.
Oh yeah, Sean Kuraly now plays for the Celtics.
— Shaun Beacham (@shaunbeacham) March 2, 2020