Morning Free Association: Season Plans

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Surprise! The NHL still has no idea how they’re going to play games next season. Or when that season will actually start. Or how many games they will play in the regular season. Or if the same plan and protocols they come up with will continue throughout the season.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke virtually at the 2020 Paley International Council Summit about what the league is discussing, noting that while the league and the NHLPA have been in contact, nothing has been officially hashed out yet.

For now, the league is continuing to plan for a January 1 start to the 2020-21 season. Presumably, teams would have training camp sometime in December.

As for logistics: It looks like travel between Canada and the United States will still be an issue due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This might make an All-Canada Division a possibility. While dealing with that, the teams may have to deal with quarantines and other restrictions while traveling between states, so he urged that flexibility has to be a priority when scheduling, travelling, and playing games.

“Obviously, we’re not going to move all seven Canadian franchises south of the 49th Parallel, and so we have to look at alternative ways to play,” Commissioner Bettman said. “And while crossing the U.S.-Canadian border is an issue, we’re also seeing within the United States limitations in terms of quarantining when you go from certain states to other states. It’s again part of having to be flexible. …

“As it relates to the travel issue, which is obviously the great unknown, we may have to temporarily realign to deal with geography, and that may make sense, because having some of our teams travel from Florida to California may not make sense.

“It may be that we’re better off, particularly if we’re playing a reduced schedule, which we’re contemplating, keeping it geographically centric, more divisional based, and realigning, again on a temporary basis, to deal with the travel issues.”

As for playing games, Bettman stated that he would not require players to commit to playing in sealed and secured bubbles for the season as they did during the summer. Instead players may play 10-12 days without travel at either their own arena or another team’s then go home for a week. Teams may play in front of fans or not depending upon the local conditions. Testing protocols will be similar to those that they used during the summer to make sure players remain healthy and don’t spread the virus. The protocols in the bubble worked very well. There’s no word yet if players will be required to self-quarantine.

So, right now, there is no real news on the season.

 

 

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the german hammer

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Stripes
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Stripes

Good Morning!
I have zero advice for the NHL on how to go forward. I’m not sure how to go forward myself, although it’s probably the old “put one foot.in front of the other, the body will follow” routine.
BTW, refs doing new england prep school games will be wearing masks and using electronic whistles.
Went boating yesterday. Dam release started at 2, leaving us with a limited amount of daylight to get to the take out. As a result, we.were slightly ahead of the bubble, meaning 70% of normal water. Also, strange light as the sun is low in the sky and river in a deep, narrow valley. Weird and wonderful experience!!!

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

refs doing new england prep school games will be wearing masks and using electronic whistles.

Have they done some test runs? They’ll get mighty hot charging around in masks. It was bad enough in the supermarket this morning.

I couldn’t figure why it was more uncomfortable today than it was in the summer – and it was a hot summer today – then I realised I wasn’t wearing a coat in the summer! Next shopping trip I’ll have to dress for the beach!

Stripes
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Stripes

I find the masks uncomfortable and think I retired just in time. I’ll have to ask some colleagues about their experiences

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

I saw some soccer kids in masks recently. Am confused as to how that worked.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. So something might happen. Something might not happen. It could work this way or it could work that way.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Sounds like it’s still a long way from being sorted.
They’ve surely got to keep any plan fluid anyway. No telling how quickly this vaccine changes things.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Have you been able to get out on the river?

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

It was I in disguise! I don’t think the Thames would be challenging enough for Stripes silly

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Well I hear the boat rides down the Thames are nice! lol

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Especially the boats with a bar! wink

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

As soon travel is safe again, I’m there!

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

I enjoy flat water, too…… but I need my adrenaline

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

I paddled the last two days in a row!!!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

DHS head was talking about making a vaccine available to narrow group of high risk patients, then to health care workers, then to broader roll-out. Is unlikely to be approved by Jan, so it seems like it will be unavailable to the pro-athlete market for much of the season?

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Ah fair enough. Over here they’re talking about it being available to high-risk groups in December, but you have to take anything Boris says with a pinch of salt. Also I forget there are rather fewer people here than in America!