What might cause another shutdown?

  • NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has said that a few players testing positive for COVID-19 wouldn’t necessarily derail the postseason. Games would carry on as the players isolate and recover. It wouldn’t spell the end of the tournament.
  • But what’s the magic number? Would, say, 10 infected players on one team tip the scales toward a cancellation? Could a playoff series be halted after three games because of a widespread infection?
  • Perhaps the NHL won’t know the answer unless something extreme happens.
  • In each hub city, hundreds of NHL-affiliated personnel will be living and working in a fairly small area.
  • Players, players’ families, coaches, on-ice officials, hockey operations employees, public relations employees, trainers, equipment managers, off-ice officials, security personnel, medical personnel, broadcast teams, arena staff, caterers, hotel workers …
  • The list is impossible to complete without knowing the full scope of the NHL’s plan, but you get the idea.
  • There’s a ton of variables involved in putting on such a large event.
  • Let’s face it: COVID-19 cases will inevitably pop up.
  • And while it’s encouraging that the NHL is taking a proactive approach to testing, you hope those with underlying health issues avoid infection.
  • The worst-case scenario – someone within the hub-city bubble getting seriously ill or dying – is awful to think about.
  • This league’s protocols, while comprehensive, “cannot mitigate all risk,” the memo cautioned.

“A range of clinical scenarios exist, from very mild to fatal outcome. COVID-19 generally affects older age groups and those with previously existing medical conditions, more so than younger, and otherwise healthy, individuals, and we recognize that players and personnel have family and household members who may fall into these vulnerable categories.”

Sources & Credits: The Score
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