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REPORT OUTLINES UNREST FROM PLAYERS OVER THE NHL'S SUMMER RETURN

Perhaps it's something that should have been expected. A lengthy Twitter thread from Sportsnet reporter Eric Engels states players he's talked to over the last couple of days are not happy with the NHL's Return to Play plan to finish the 2019-20 season and there are several factors involved.

"Over the last 2 days, I’ve been speaking with players from around the NHL who are quite concerned about a return to play," said Engels. "I’m going to paraphrase some of those sentiments over a few tweets here. I want to stress every player I spoke with requested anonymity for obvious reasons."

"One player said a majority of the players do not want to return to play this summer. Estimated 75%. Though they’re concerned with financial pitfalls of that decision, they’re more concerned about risking contracting the virus/serious injury before cramming in the 2021 season."

"Another player said that calls with the NHLPA (the organization representing players) have been “a joke” and that they have only revolved around the financial situation."

Engels then posted a snippet of a text conversation he had with an unnamed player who told him everyone will vote yes to the proposal players will eventually get from the NHL and no one will opt out of playing because "hockey is different than other sports." That said, Engels stated "All players I spoke with are frustrated about being kept largely in the dark about how they’ll safely be able to resume play."

So far, 26 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since Phase 2 of the NHL's Return to Play plan was implemented. That phase saw players voluntarily returning to team practice facilities for small group skates.



Engels went on to explain that "it’s a big deal for the players and their families to sacrifice their summer. It’s a factor in how players feel about returning to play. Probably losing a chunk of next summer is a factor too." He adds ultimately, players just want some clarity on the plan to return as quickly as possible.

Phase 3 of the Return to Play plan, which will see training camps open, is expected to get underway on July 10th. Games are expected to resume near the end of July in two unnamed hub cities.






TIM TUCKER
JUNE 30, 2020  (14H19)
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
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