American Protests Could Complicate NHL’s Return

COVID-19 and protests.  

National Hockey League owners and the league’s player association have a plan to get the on ice to finish the 2019-2020 season by awarding the Stanley Cup. There will be 24-teams competing for Lord’s Stanley’s 127-year old cup although the real one sits in Toronto with replica Cups floating around. The NHL also had a list of possible cities in the United States that could handle the 24-teams in two markets. Those cities in the United States that were being considered were Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota and Pittsburgh. But league officials might want to give some serious thought about those cities as massive protests in this day of the COVID-19 pandemic were held in the cities. There was no social distancing which is recommended about all health authorities to stop the COVID-19 spread. Some of the protestors were not wearing masks which is always recommended to contain the COVID-19 spread and there was violence and arrests in all cities. The protests started in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd. None of the recent events bode well for the National Hockey League in what would be a difficult return to the ice in a calmer climate.

The NHL does have three Canadian cities on its list to be hubs for the teams. Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver. The only thing the league would have to worry about is COVID-19 in those cities. The NHL will not open training camps, if it can, until July 10th.  The NHL might have to hit pause in looking for an American hub city. It takes up to two weeks for the COVID-19 infection to show itself which means protesters might have a full-blown infection soon that could spread in those cities which would not be good for anyone. How NHL season is salvaged has been complicated by the protests.

NHL hockey players Jordan Staal, captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, clockwise from top left, Claude Giroux, captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Marc Stall, alternate captain for the New York Rangers and Sidney Crosby, captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, take part in an NHL video call with players representing the Metropolitan Division Thursday, March 26, 2020, in this photo made in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Wawrow)