By Josh Novick ’21
A nationwide shutdown of American sports on March 11th and 12th closed down hope for a life-long sports fan, but the National Hockey League (NHL) took a different approach and formed a “bubble” Stanley Cup Playoffs in Toronto and Edmonton, Canada.
The NHL discontinued every remaining game following the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) sudden closure due to player Rudy Gobert possessing a confirmed positive case. Canceling the rest of the regular season, the fans of the league were disappointed and upset, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had a plan. As of August 1st, the NHL allowed training camps to resume, and the NHL deliberately and actively tested their players for COVID-19: “The last week of training, [they had] 2,400 tests, 800 players [tested] every other day,” (Bettman). The “bubble” consists of no outside contact and consistent testing to keep the players, coaches, and staff healthy and safe.
Due to their thoughtful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The NHL has not reported a single positive case within the bubble and played their final playoff game on September 28th ending in a Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup. Sports are a prominent source of entertainment during these uncertain times and give hope to numerous people that life will soon return to normalcy.
Gary Bettman on Fox News added that the league had “no positive tests since entering the bubble. We’ve been testing players [and] all our personnel every day. No positive tests. And we believe the bubble is working well because we’ve managed to be contained within our … COVID-19 free environment, and we’re hoping that we can maintain it” earlier in August.
The NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs’ were a great success despite difficulties relating to COVID-19.
image via nhl.com