Morning Free Association: The Future of Hockey

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Let’s turn our attention to the future of hockey within the NHL: next season. At this moment, no one really knows when the 2020-2021 season will begin, nor do they know how it will be played, or how many games it will entail. The only thing we know is that it will be played.

Commissioner Gary Bettman is aiming for a full slate of 82 games next season but admits that there are a lot of variables and unknowns mostly regarding Covid-19 issues.

“There’s no point in making definitive comments on our plans because there’s still too much we don’t know,” said Bettman. “Nobody can tell me whether or not the border between Canada and the United States is going to be open by a certain date, nobody can tell me what the state of COVID-19 is going to be, nobody can tell me whether or not our arenas will be able to have either socially distanced or fully occupied buildings.”

The league was able to circumvent the border issue for the bubbles by having strict quarantine orders in place for players and personnel in both the United States and Canada with US teams only travelling once through the border rather than back and forth. In the coming months, it’s likely that the border will remain closed as the pandemic is still out of control in portions of the the US. Certain hot spots of viral activity may be undesirable for travel or game playing. So, a bunch of different options are being considered including hybrid bubbles in certain regions. One division may just be an all-Canada team (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal).

Players freely complained about the limited options of bubble life and feeling isolated after being away from family for so long. The league had overpromised on many of the accommodations and amenities, including stating that families could come into the bubble after a certain point in the playoffs. As it turns out, only families that were already in Canada under quarantine conditions were allowed to enter. One would imagine that players would not be excited about the possibility of entering another bubble situation for a full season. One option that is being considered is the hybrid bubble model. Teams would play against the same opponents within the regional bubble for two weeks then return to their families for a week before going back to the bubble for two weeks. With this plan, each team would likely play 12 games a month which would make the season somewhere between 48-60 games for a regular season, depending upon how far they go into the calendar year. Since Bettman is promising full playoffs, it’s likely that April will be the cutoff month for the regular season. Unlike this season, there is a time crunch: NBC will start broadcasting the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021.

The hybrid bubble plan includes a possibility of teams playing at their home rinks at some point, possibly with some amount of fans. It really depends upon how the many variables shake out. The way things are going here, I can’t imagine in-person attendance next season.

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Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Guys, I just found out that Fred Schneider has a coffee collection. I need Fred Schneider coffee.

Quaider4everwash
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Quaider4everwash

Fred Schneider coffee will help you cut the concrete. Cut it with your feet

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Ok, this was a weird morning.

The city decided that my neighborhood didn’t need water on Tuesday, so they shut down the water all day and did “things”. Fortunately we have a full rain-barrel so we could at least refill the tanks of the toilets – and thus flush more than once per day.

Last night, I got an email from the electricity supplier.
“Hey, we heard you have a power outage now. Do you have a power outage now? 1000 people have a power outage.”
So I had a dream that our electricity had been knocked out while they were fixing the existing outage. A very realistic dream. So realistic that I started making decisions based on that. “I can’t see the numbers on GH’s electric alarm clock, therefore the power is still out. Should I bother getting up? I can’t telecommute if the WiFi isn’t working. I can’t even watch my workout video or start the treadmill. I don’t want to open the fridge to get a drink because it will let all the cool air out. etc.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

I’ve had ones where you wake up and go “oh, thank god – it was just a dream!” The relief!

Quaider4everwash
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Quaider4everwash

No work today!!

Stripes
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Stripes

Hey All!
Hybrid bubbles and the like….. who knows what next year will bring? No predictions here! I’m hoping New England can secede from the Union and join Canada….. I already know the National Anthem by heart!!
Looks like the closing on Jo’s house will happen tomorrow, although with less dough than hoped for due to some issues. Still, that will help us move forward on our house. No word yet on postponing the foreclosure sale….. We are on tenterhooks. As my mom always said, “This too shall pass”. Keeping the Monty Python song ” Always look on the bright side of life ” in my head.

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Congrats on the closing. One less stress off the list!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Whooo! Some closing closure!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Excellent, fingers crossed it gets completed smoothly.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Hi folks,

That hybrid bubble sounds like a decent idea, as does the possibility of an all-Canadian division. I didn’t realise the US-Canada border was closed, but I’m not surprised I guess.

So much uncertainty about the future. Rona is making a comeback here, as you may have seen, although apparently there are signs the growth in infections is slowing. What times we live in. Try to focus on the positives, folks!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Yeah, I think Canada’s been wanting to shut the border and keep us out for a long time now! lol

I laughed yesterday when I saw the update version of the Bugs Bunny Florida gif:
comment image
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IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

The Tim Horton’s sign in the background is brilliant! (Timmy’s is almost exclusively Canadian, and is their last defense against the global Dunkin Donut invasion)

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

The all-Canadian division is the first implication that came to mind for me. 7 teams – roughly a complete division. They’d have to have a temporary realignment for the bubble league with virtually no cross-divisional games.
I don’t think they could pull it off though. The strain of the bubbles seemed pretty bad by the end of the playoffs. I got the sense that some of the Bruins staff were just as happy they lost just so they could go home. I can’t imagine that the Red Wings or the Senators are gonna be able to put up with that level of isolation for months on end just to lose 60 hockey games each.

Also – the Bolts players broke quarantine in spectacular fashion upon returning to Florida – a.k.a. the land of 500,000 COVID cases – with a parade and a 15,000-fan rally, and sharing beers with the owners, etc. So there’s no chance of consequences of that, right?

Quaider4everwash
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Quaider4everwash

Ugh!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. 65 and sunny today. My perfect weather.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Focusing on the positives. Gold star for you!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Yay!