COVID-19 is playing havoc with the next season.
Bill Foley is not a long time National Hockey League governor. Foley has owned the Vegas Golden Knights since 2016 after landing an expansion franchise. But Foley has major insights as to what is happening in the league. The Vegas owner does not think the 2020-2021 season will begin until February 1st, 2021. There was a January 1st target date. He thinks the NHL will feature a shortened season and has worries about people attending games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foley doesn’t see the United States-Canadian border opening until January 1st at the earliest and even then, he points out that COVID-19 is not only spreading in the United States but in Canada as well. The NHL wants the 2020-2021 season to end before the Tokyo Olympics in the summer. Of course, no one knows whether that event which was postponed earlier this year can take place because no one knows how widespread COVID-19 will be next summer. The NHL needs customers in the stands because it does not have a huge money TV deal like the National Football League, or Major League Baseball or the National Basketball Association. The league is not setting up bubbles to isolate players because it is far too expensive to do.
The National Hockey League is in limbo. There is one hockey league that is functioning in Canada, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and it is worthwhile to follow how the league is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The answer is not all that well. The league has suspended all games in Quebec through at least October 28th and the Province of Quebec is kicking in twelve million loonies to help out the 12 Quebec teams. Another team located in Moncton, New Brunswick has shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Five QMJHL teams are still playing. COVID-19 is a tough opponent.