NHL Ups it’s New Season Preparation
The game of hockey we love is coming back into action this October. The question is, at what costs? As the NHL prepares for the upcoming season, there are no reasons for a delay or a shortened season, but what happens if the inevitable happens and the situation rears its ugly head?
After an unusual 2019-20 NHL season, the league looks to get back to “normal” hockey and a “normal” season. The NHL will look to fight back and make this season forget about the previous one, filled with uncertainty and questions.
The 2019-20 season was one for the ages. Player check-ins were not the same, even on practice days. The divisions were realigned to limit travel and contact. No fans in the seats. Buildings were empty, except for players and team personnel. Vendors and concession stands were unused. 2019-20 was not your typical NHL season, the result of COVID-19 and the effects of this terrible, unforeseen disease.
The league took notice, made preparations, and noticed how fast this was spreading. With the random NHL player having COVID-19, the numbers for the NHL were still the lowest of the four major sports. The NHL did a tremendous job in keeping those numbers down, making the season they did have enjoyable and competitive.
This season will be different. The free-agent signings have taken place. The NHL Entry Draft took place via zoom and is in the books. The players take the ice in a month for training camp, with developmental camps already going. The biggest move this offseason made by the NHL was to announce that some teams will require that all fans and teams be fully vaccinated to be allowed inside.
This is for some teams as of right now, not all. As we get closer to opening night things could certainly change. Let us hope we can all enjoy the season and not criticize what we cannot control.
The NHL is still aware that another outbreak and setback could take place. However, at this moment, the league is moving forward as if there is no threat.
The divisions are back to where they were before the 2019-20 season. The schedules have been released and everyone is ready to go. Could there be a setback? Of course. Why not enjoy this while we have it? No thoughts of stoppages, no masks, no threats of a shutdown. Let us enjoy this season, as it is our favorite season. Hockey season, the game, and season, we love.