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BETTMAN SAYS NHL IS LOOKING TO RESUME PLAYING IN CENTRALIZED LOCATIONS WITHOUT FANS

On Monday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman participated in a digital keynote with Leaders Week, where he addressed questions regarding the coronavirus pause. He explained that the NHL and NHLPA have formed a Return to Play Committee and shared some of what they have been discussing.

Bettman said that the NHL is considering different options for resuming the 2019-20 season. One of these options involves the NHL looking at “probably eight or nine different places” that would serve as centralized locations for games. He does not anticipate that fans would be able to attend these games and that several games might be played in one day. To determine these locations, Bettman said they are looking at “which places might be suitable from a COVID-19 standpoint in terms of the communities that you’re in and how big the outbreak is.”



In order for the season to resume in such a way, several issues would need to be addressed.

Among these major issues is the fact that 17 percent of NHL players are currently outside North America. There are border and quarantine restrictions that would need to be resolved for all players to be available to play in these “centralized locations”.

In addition, players would need access to hotel space and personnel to test for COVID-19. Finding those accommodations and staffing are a “fundamental question,” according to Bettman. He does not want to detract from the efforts of healthcare workers in their communities and stated, “We certainly can’t be jumping the line in front of medical needs.”

“We’d like to award the Stanley Cup, the most treasured trophy and the most historic trophy in all of sports,” Bettman said. The Return to Play Committee will continue to meet to determine the best way for this to happen.

source: NHL.com
ASHLEY SANDERS
MAY 18, 2020  (17H35)
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