Coronavirus And How it Affects 2019-20 NHL Season

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 12: Spectator seating is empty prior to the Detroit Red Wings playing against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on March 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Yesterday, the NBA suspended their season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The NHL said per a release, that the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus, Clubs were advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings today. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

In a world where we go about our daily lives and decide how we spend our entertainment dollar, the Coronavirus has changed everything. Including professional sports. When health experts are stating that people need to stay away from large crowds in fear of spreading this deadly virus, many sports fans were stunned when the NBA suspended play after two Utah Jazz players were tested positive for the virus.

Coronavirus Threatens NHL Play

All it took for the NBA to act was when a player became infected. Now, it may be the NHL’s decision whether to continue to play with news of the virus spreading to all walks of life. According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, the NHL’s Board met at 1 pm ET, where Commissioner Gary Bettman had no opposition to suspend the 2020 season. As for what lies ahead that is the unknown for the NHL and the rest of the sporting world.

Darren Dreger of TSN followed up by stating that the NHL informed its clubs and players they are to go home and stay home. That means no meetings, traveling, or practices of any kind.

The next big question is what happens when the league does resume. Where do they pick, if they pick up, or does the league go right in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Coronavirus Has Changed Our Daily Lives

Professional sports being suspended has hit fans like a shock wave. “What do you mean I can’t attend my favourite NHL game?” Why? Health concerns are why. This virus is silent and can be carried by someone without any knowledge they are infected with it. That makes us complacent and feeling like we’re invincible. According to the latest statistics over 1,000 people in just the U.S. have been tested positive with 37 deaths.

This means sports with any public gathering of 1,000 or more people needs to not happen. It means if we want to survive this pandemic, we need to follow health officials’ guidelines to stay healthy. Let’s face it, we may all be bummed out that we can’t see our favourite NHL team play, especially as the season is winding down towards the playoffs.

This will really hurt teams, owners and fans but this is a serious health issue. While some are looking at the economic ramifications, the overall safety of the population is at stake. Missing some sporting events will not make you sick or possibly fatally ill. Taking this pandemic spread of the Coronavirus lightly may be riskier. After all, as a wise person once said, “if you have your health, you have everything.”

On a Personal Note

I, like many ardent NHL fans, will miss the rest of the exciting season if it’s postponed. Both conferences are going down to the wire with playoff races in place. Will it be disappointing if the NHL decides to suspend play at this point and resume to have a late start to the playoffs? Yes, of course, it will. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. Safety must be prioritized and we look to our health care professionals for advice and we must follow it.

The real failure has been the U.S. government’s response. Testing kits were made available by the World Health Organization and most countries took advantage of them. The U.S. government did not. Now, we are behind the eight-ball as to how many actually are carrying the deadly virus due to negligence at the highest level of government. Again, complacency is to blame. We are all susceptible to this. Don’t take it lightly. Take precautions and be diligent, not complacent!

As far as the NHL goes, they have survived lockouts in the past and this may hurt them financially. It will hurt everyone worse if steps are not taken to the spread of this.

Now that the NHL decided today to suspend the season plans will be made to re-schedule the playoffs. Arenas have been totold to reserve dates later into the summer than usual.

It’s not as big as life, it’s just NHL hockey.



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