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#HockeyIsBack — And Fans Are Excited

Photo by Tim Trad via Unsplash

Numerous hockey devotees tweeted with #HockeyIsBack earlier this week, sharing clips of their beloved teams back on the ice. Since the NHL halted their usual operations back on March 12, enthusiasts have been left to face a spring sans their favorite pastime. 

On July 10, the NHL unveiled a plan to finish off the 2020 season, alongside a lengthening of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in conjunction with the NHLPA to last until the beginning of 2026. Training camps convened a few days later on July 13. Exhibition games began on July 28, with three matchups throughout the day. Two more days of exhibition games were scheduled for July 29 and July 30, with 18 remaining teams arranged to face off. 

The Stanley Cup Qualifiers are slated to kick off on August 1, while the round robin is scheduled to commence the following day. The NHL estimates that viewers can expect to see a victor by the early days of October. Each contest will take place outside of the United States, in the Canadian “hub cities” of Edmonton (for the Western Conference) and Toronto (for the Eastern Conference). 

 

While diehard hockey fans across the country have hailed the decision to resume, others aren’t as quick to praise the organization’s plans. Other athletic associations have been under fire for their own reopening policies, with one notable example being the MLB. The League’s regular season began on July 23 yet has already had its hands full with players testing positive for COVID-19, with 11 athletes on the Miami Marlins alone.

In order to combat these concerns, the NHL has released protocol for its daily affairs throughout the tournament. Within the “Phase 4 Secure Zones” in Edmonton and Toronto, players, coaches, and support staff will be expected to continue with physical distancing whenever they are able, such as during workouts and communal gatherings. Additionally, these individuals must wear face coverings in public, although there are a plethora of exceptions. (For example, athletes will not be tasked with sporting face coverings when skating or during other conditioning.) Hordes of people will undergo PCR tests each day, ranging from the athletes to security and housekeeping staff. 

Are you stoked about getting to see your favorite players back in the rink, or do you think the decision is an unwise one? Let us know in the poll below. 

Photo by Tim Trad via Unsplash

  • Question of

    Are you pumped about the NHL’s plans to resume?

    • this is what I’ve been waiting for!
    • not really
  • Question of

    Do you agree with the NHL’s decision?

    • no way
    • of course

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Written by Megan Pontin

Enthusiastic word-collector, avid pancake-consumer, and experienced hammock-lounger. Student at Cornell University.

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