NHL’s COVID Protocols Are Clearly Not Cutting It

The NHL is dumb.

The league is a bunch of money-hungry sons of bitches, we’ve all known that, but it just keeps proving that time and time again. First, let’s start with Vancouver. One positive test on the roster has quickly turned into 16 players, 2 taxi squad members, and 3 coaches (21 people) contracting COVID-19 in just a week. That doesn’t even include player’s families who have contracted it. It’s thought to be a P.1 variant — which is more contagious and tends to hit people who have already had COVID-19.

Tom Drance of The Athletic wrote this in his article about what’s going on with the Canucks:

“Currently, there are some Canucks players and coaches who have dealt with high fevers, painful coughs, chills and other nasty symptoms, and others who are dealing with more minimal symptoms. Farhan Lalji of TSN reported Friday that, in some cases, players have been put on IVs by club medical staff.”

Thomas Drance of The Athletic

That’s fucking terrifying. These guys are top of the world, healthy, young athletes and they’re being hit heavy by the virus. The lives of the people who tested positive matter so much more than these hockey games. The NHL has barely said a fucking peep besides rescheduling games.

The league should not try and force these guys to finish the season. Who knows what shape they’re going to be in after they get rid of COVID, then you’re going to try and force them to play x amount of games in a severely condensed calendar. The Stars got fucked by COVID when the season just started and now they have to play 20 games in 35 days. Evgeny Kuznetzov could barely breathe and walk when he had COVID, what if that happens to one of these players and then the league sets up a week where they play 5/7 days. The league is so obsessed with finishing the season by May 11th, it is going to be impossible to do that and keep the players of this league safe.

Their protocols are not effective enough. Another example? Tonight in Carolina.

Dallas Stars’ head coach Rick Bowness was taken out of the game during second intermission and immediately placed on COVID Protocol. Stars’ GM Jim Nill hopped on the mic after the game and said that the team had just gotten their test results back at second intermission and Bowness had a weak positive so they immediately pulled him. Full report on it here.

There’s a lot of bad things going on here. The first being: why were the Stars allowed to play if they had not gotten their test results back? If Bowness had a true positive, then this could have been an absolute disaster. He was out there for the first 40 minutes and he was with the team all day. He is constantly pulling down his mask behind the bench. He won’t travel with the team to Chicago but it’s still pretty worrying that this game even went down. What if Vancouver did that? If they were mid-game when the test results came back. It would been disastrous. I don’t pretend to have all the answers or know what the NHL should exactly do but they have got to do better than this. These are people’s lives at risk.


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Featured Image: Dallas Stars' Twitter

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