(Toronto) NHL unveils its plan.
Despite the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raging in North America, the NHL and the Association of League Players try to play the 56-game tag team season.
This season will delight hockey fans in CanadaE There will be a chance to fight in parallel for the champion title of the All-Canadian Division.
The NHL and the Players’ Association deliberately left out some way of displaying words on how quickly the situation around the virus could change.
There is still a long list of details. The first question is whether the seven Canadian teams will be allowed to play games on their field or whether the season will start.
If this is to happen in the newest northern division, get permission from health officials in the five provinces where Montreal Canadians, Ottawa senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Cancs play.
As the clock continues until January 13, when the next season begins, things are not so clear on Monday.
Announcing a four-week lockdown running in areas including Toronto and Ottawa from December 26 to January 23, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said no decision has yet been made to allow senators and maple leaves to play their games at home.
“This file is currently on the (advice) health table,” Ford said. No decision has been made yet. ”
The NHL wants its teams to play their own games in their respective fields, but is prepared to display them in one or more “neutral areas” if necessary. Canada-US Seven Canadian teams reunited due to border and government travel restrictions.
Infection rates across North America are rising at an alarming rate as the continent may experience a long winter due to the second wave of the pandemic.
The NHL was able to resume its operations this summer in a protected environment in Edmonton and Toronto. The league said no positive screening tests had taken place for more than two months, but players, coaches and staff were kept in hotels and separated from their families.
That choice does not seem possible and there is no interest in a similar setup next season, which will see him crowned Stanley Cup champion in mid-July.
Jazz Atwal, Manitoba’s acting deputy provincial public health administrator, said authorities were examining the NHL’s proposal for safety protocols.
“We received a plan that we reviewed,” he said. Five provinces are affected by this situation. So we also met with federal public health officials and representatives of the Interprovincial Public Health. Work is ongoing to determine if there is a public health risk in the event of a NHL return. At this stage, there is still work to be done on this topic. ”
Although the plan has been approved, Atwal said there will be supporters at the stands at Bell MTS Place to see the jets in action.
“We have to assess the situation week by week, month by month,” Atwal said. We will discuss this later. At this point, there is no desire to allow fans to watch hockey games in the arena. ”
British Columbia, which has already rejected the illustration of the protected environment proposed by the NHL this summer, must agree to a security plan to keep the controversial games in Vancouver.
Health Minister Adrian Dicks seemed mild to the idea during a media availability in Victoria.
“The protocols are very different when there are very few COVID-19 cases in Canada this summer,” Dix said. We will make decisions in the coming days. ”
Health Officer Bonnie Henry “continues to work with the NHL and other affected provinces to find a safer solution to play the league back,” the province said in a statement Sunday. Negotiations are underway to ensure that the proposal is in line with the sanctions in force in all provinces. ”
Dix said the BC government is not going to be a fan even with professional sports.
“There is no question that there is one standard for one group of people and one standard for another group,” he stressed. This is a very serious time in this epidemic. Everyone makes extraordinary sacrifices. ”
Dina Hinsha, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, asked very few questions about it, as did Connor McDavid.
“It’s not a special decision for Alberta,” Hinsha said. This decision includes all provinces where NHL teams are located. It is important to find a way forward that guarantees the protection of public health. ”
Journalists Steve Lambert, Lauren Kruegel and Brenna Owen contributed to this article.