It’s been a few days since virtually all sports have shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. While it is uncertain how the NHL will handle the remainder of the year, we now know that some leagues like the ECHL have just opted to end the season, pay players one more paycheck, and be done with it. This is a harsh reality for the players since they don’t make much money already and now will make less due to their season being over.
Hearing tonight ECHL will announce Monday that it will cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season and playoffs.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 15, 2020
The AHL hasn’t determined their course of action yet but it will likely not be the same as the parent clubs in the NHL. Logistics are a huge issue. Apparently, whatever happens, the players will be paid.
In addition to @FriedgeHNIC report on ECHL cancelling its season, word around the American Hockey League is that a potential return won't mirror what happens with the NHL. Too many different variables, including travel and revenue. They're facing a big challenge.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 15, 2020
As for the NHL, there is uncertainty with how to proceed long-term. The league has requested the following:
- players self-quaratine in their club’s cities; recently traded players with families can travel back as long as they advise the team
- players refrain from using team facilities unless undergoing treatments for injuries
- players do not participate in informal skates
- players that have symptoms of the coronavirus should contact the team’s Medical Director or Head Trainer who will contact the team’s infectious disease specialist, who will determine the next steps
- players should contact the team if they’ve been in contact with an infected person
NHL executives are still trying to figure out when it will be safe for players to gather, train, and practice. There is talk of having a mini-training camp before games resume.
For now the league is supended indefinitely. And indefintely might be a long time.
On Sunday, the CDC has recommended, but not required, that all gatherings of people more than 50 people be cancelled or postponed for the next 8 weeks. Yes, that puts us into the second week of May. I’m pretty sure all hockey games, even those played by the lowly Detroit Red Wings have a live auidence of more than 50 people.
— CDC (@CDCgov) March 16, 2020
That is going to suck. Do the games start with remaining slate of games or with playoffs? Do they abbreviate the rounds or alter the playoffs in any way to accomodate the unexpected break? Do they even continue on with the season at all, not awarding the Stanley Cup for the first time since the 2004-2005 lockout?
They have to continue play even if it’s without live audiences at first. The Cup needs a new victor.
Until then, we’re going to have to figure out other things to do.
— Torey Krug (@ToreyKrug) March 15, 2020
Remember, Zdeno Chara misses you! He wants nothing but the best for you.
Big Zee misses you all and wanted to check in with a message for #NHLBruins fans everywhere.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 15, 2020