July 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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COVID-19 | The NHL is not in the Olympics

COVID-19 |  The NHL is not in the Olympics

The National League and the Players’ Association (AJLNH) have agreed to end their participation in the Beijing Olympics. This was reported by colleague Frank Seravalli on Tuesday morning from the DailyFaceoff site.

Guillaume Lefrancois

Guillaume Lefrancois

Both bodies can make the announcement after formally notifying the International Olympic Committee.

The NHL has until January 10 to exclude its players from the tournament without financial fines.

On Sunday, the NHL and AJLNH released a joint statement announcing that the presence of players in Beijing was a matter of “negotiation” and would be announced in the coming days.

“It sucks. “Everyone is excited and coming back to the Olympics is an important part of our final collective bargaining negotiations,” Winnipeg jets forward Kyle Connor said in a video conference anticipated by the United States team. It creates so many unforgettable moments. Despite the conditions, the COVID-19 and the China tour, it was a really good tournament. ”

Without NHL players, Team Canada would theoretically have players from Europe and would be led by Claude Julian, Canada’s head coach at the Spengler Cup. However, Canada withdrew from the tournament, scheduled for the holiday season.

Resumption of matches

By abandoning the Olympics, the NHL could try to reschedule matches that were canceled during the last few weeks during the Olympic break scheduled for February. The game is not scheduled for February 3-22. To this end, note that in the “Calendar” section of the NHL website, you can only scroll through the schedule until February 2nd. However, on team sites, matches scheduled after that date still appear on the calendar.

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Currently, 50 games have been postponed and only one has been played (between Ottawa and New Jersey on November 16, which took place on December 6).

Those 50 games are 3.8% of the NHL schedule, with 1,312 game schedules.

Since the halls of the NHL teams are reserved for other events during the Olympic break, we can assume that the logistics operation to reschedule the games will not be easy. For example, the Bell Center is currently free from February 3 to 14, but hosts four shows over five evenings, two of which include the fantastic Elton John.

In Madison Square Garden, one of the busiest amphitheaters on the continent, things are very lively. From February 9th to 23rd, the arena will only be available for three nights, featuring performances by Billy Elish, Mark Anthony, John Meyer and equally stunning Billy Joel.

Obviously, even if some of these tours are canceled, the venues are free.

Critical pause

Most have been suspended from the full break from NHL operations that officially begin Tuesday night. For example, on Thursday, 15 meetings were actually scheduled. But even before the NHL-ordered treaty, most of those games were canceled due to the spread of COVID-19, which hit some teams.

The deal was criticized in a video conference with the Jets on Tuesday.

“I can not speak for everyone, but I personally think it’s overkill,” said goalkeeper Connor Hellboyk. You see leagues like the NFL adapting and doing things right. It sucks, but it’s a Christmas break, which allows the family to enjoy the holidays. ”

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“All the players have been vaccinated [NDLR : sauf un, l’attaquant des Red Wings Tyler Bertuzzi]. And there, the matches were canceled. It was frustrating. We can do nothing, Kyle Connor added. We try to stay healthy. Most of the players I talk to are not sick with the new variant. But I warn you, I am not a doctor and do not know myself! This is the only thing I hear from other guys. But it is sad that we are not able to play these matches. ”