Once news that Toronto Maple Leafs Allstar Auston Matthews had tested positive for the coronavirus it didn’t take long for the NHL to release a statement in positive coronavirus tests of some of its players. In fact it was all done within a few hours of each other.
With all of the hoopla surrounding Matthews we also had the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down at the same time. It was reported by Bob Mackenzie that the Lightning had 3 players and 2 team staff test positive for the lung ravaging disease.
So with all of that where does this leave us for the remainder of the summer and the beginning of the fall with respect to starting up hockey? Well the short answer is nobody really knows. For now however, the show must go on. Can you blame them either?
The NHL and the players are both losing millions of dollars while this thing sits idle. We are also seeing daily that people are choosing to disrespect social distancing guidelines which were put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. With all of that being the case the number of tests have also skyrocketed so we just can’t really know what to expect.
Not to get political either but since the league operates in two different countries and with each country being at total opposite ends of the political spectrum it is completely possible that this could complicate things even further.
As for the players we haven’t really heard to much other than the fact that a couple teams voted against the return to play protocol. Nonetheless however we haven’t heard from too many players saying they don’t feel safe or won’t be returning once the playoffs and play-in round begins.
As for the league itself it released the statement regarding the positive tests on Friday night. In the statement the league reiterated that since the teams have been permitted to open the facilities the player that have come back have done so voluntarily. They also reminded people that these players have been and are being tested for Covid-19.
They also released that over 200 players have done multiple tests and that only 11 have tested positive for the coronavirus. Furthermore the NHL went on to say that all players that have tested positive for the coronavirus are self isolating and are following the CDC and Health Canada guidelines.
Even with all this positive news about testing and the unfortunate news about players testing positive we still have the negative nellies ripping it up calling for the league to cancel everything. You would never be able to please those people anyways. Even if you tested players twice a day and kept them locked in a room in between games. It is just the nature of this beast.
More decisions and announcements are expected to be released later this week regarding Phase 3 and Phase 4. We are also expected to hear some news on what cities have been chosen to be the hubs. It is rumoured to be Vegas and Toronto but until an official announcement you never know.