Morning Free Association: When Will Hockey Start?

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When will hockey return?

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This may be a question on some hockey fans’ minds even though the Stanley Cup was just awarded late last month. Most are feeling the loss of the sport since October is the time of the year when skaters return to the ice for official games, games that count in the 82-game slog of a season.

But not this year because we cannot have nice things.

The NHL is not the only hockey league to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The American Hockey League (AHL), East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) , and the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) all are trying to figure out when they can return to play safely. Each of these lower tiers of hockey rely greatly upon seating fans of the game, so some teams are opting out since limited audience capacity makes playing unfeasible.

Right now, the AHL is trying to figure out when they can return. They will have a season, since they are the “farm league” of the big brothers in the NHL and players need to be ready for call-ups. But at this point, it is uncertain how many teams will play the season and whether or not some teams may have to relocate their teams to Canada since the border will likely remain closed. The league is targeting December 4th as a start date but that’s iffy since in-person game attendance in many states (like the Northeast and California) will be an issue.

The ECHL has already seen two teams opt out due to attendance issues: the Norfolk Admirals and the Atlanta Gladiators. The Gladiators are the ECHL franchise affiliated with the Boston Bruins.

The SPHL only has 10 teams in total and 5 have opted out. Their commissioner insists they will still play.

As for the NHL, the league hopes to start playing in January. Many items need to be sorted out with regards to potential bubbles, border issues, and safety protocols.

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the german hammer

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IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Until the pandemic starts to get under control, I don’t think hockey is going to feel right.
It wasn’t too bad adjusting to televised games from the bubble, but I like going to the occasional live game – which I’m not doing until the pandemic is over. I don’t think the bubble environment is going to happen again – it’s just not sustainable. It was also strange seeing players go into the “unfit to play” void when they got exposed or missed a test or had an injury which was undisclosed.

In the NFL, they’re taking precautions, and are not filing stadiums, but are mostly business as usual. And they’re having key players catch the virus, delaying games and putting players into isolation. Fortunately, for 25 year-old world-class athletes, their cardio-pulmonary health has so far been sufficient to weather the illness with few problems. I just hope that none of the families or coaches get sick.

Quaider4everwash
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Quaider4everwash

Sadly, i won’t be participating in many activities that i really enjoy….. until the pandemic is over. I guess it will end sometime, the 1917 thing ended, right?

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Maybe it did, and maybe it didnt

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Tldr
There were subsequent flu pandemics (1957 and 1968) that may or may not have been related to the 1917 outbreak. Science doesn’t know.

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

Nice reference!! Lancet is one of the sources that I really trust for this stuff. JAMA, NEJM & Lancet are my go-tos for unbiased & accurate medical info.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Ah good – I did some hasty research on lancet because I didn’t want to post something with an agenda and make myself look like a conspiracy theorist (which I’m definitely not).

Found out they had published some stories which were retracted, but that’s the nature of science I guess. They make judgements based on the available evidence at the time, then change the stance if new evidence disproves it.
Unsatisfactory in a way but better than sticking to an established story and ignoring new facts.

Stripes
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Stripes

Very interesting report, thanks!

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

the 1917 thing ended, right?

Totally – in 2009 when the vaccine was distributed. wink
(I remember getting an H1N1 vaccine sometime before going to culinary school which would have been the winter of 2010-2011)

I’m not even really sure how that thing died out. Maybe a combination of widespread mask use and local herd immunity? It apparently had a few waves between 1918 and 1920.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

I wonder if it makes a difference in their thinking that with Football (and hockey) for these young guys the kinds of injury they risk just by playing the game is going to be worse than getting covid.

Doesn’t answer the issue of spectators of course.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Logged onto work with three minutes to spare!

I feel like it’s going to be a lot of hurry up and wait with next season.

Quaider4everwash
Guest
Quaider4everwash

Hi All! Longday working on rhe house yesterday. Waiting for the plumber to announce his schedule. Hoping to finish rhe house before hockey restarts. Looks promising!
Tough decision. To play or not to play. I can imagine telling grandchildren “We used to go to the arena where the game was happening and watch it live and in person”. They won’t believe it.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Reminds me of a bumper sticker a plumber friend gave my parents when I was kid. “If it wasn’t for your plumber, you wouldn’t have any place to go.”