The COVID-19 outbreak is causing major issues in the NHL… again. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the NHL to decide which games, which teams are being shut down and have games postponed. Some teams have played with 16-17 skaters. Others were shut down for less than that. The league and its Commissioner need to stop taking players for replaceable cattle and shut down its activity until the new year. It’s the responsible thing to do.
The list of players getting on the COVID protocol is expanding every single day and it has reached dangerously high levels. More than 100 players have tested into protocols in the past week, causing five teams to postpone their schedules and two to postpone games this weekend. Here’s the list as of December 18, 2021:
|DET||Smith, Rowney, Nedeljkovic, Fabbri, Rasmussen, Zadina|
|FLA||Ekblad, Vatrano, Bennett, Gudas, Montour, Lomberg, Verhaeghe|
|CAR||Jarvis, Aho, Svechnikov, Cole, Lorentz, Staal|
|NYI||Barzal (team shut down earlier this season)|
|BOS||Marchand, Bergeron, Smith, Blidh, Steen, Swayman, Frederic,Lazar, Hall|
|TOR||Tavares, Kerfoot, Simmonds, Spezza, Dermott, Campbell, Brodie|
|MTL||Lehkonen (Gallagher and Niku were just removed)|
|SEA||Sheahan, Blackwell, Gourde, Oleksiak|
|VAN||Schenn, Lammikko, Poolman, Hunt, Motte, Myers|
|EDM||McLeod, Shore, Nugent-Hopkins, Keith, Puljujarvi|
|NAS||Grandlund, Johansen, Luff, McCarron, Harper, Tomasino, Cousins|
|CAL||Dube, Kylington, Maingipane, Lindholm, Richardson, Ruzicha, Tanev, Monahan, Hanifin, Gaudreau, Froese, Gudbranson, Lewis, Andersson, Markstrom, Pitlick, Backlund, Lucic, Zadorov|
|COL||Compher, Burakovsky, Makar, Kuemper, Toews|
|ARI||Crouse, Galchenyuk, Beagle|
Here’s the thing. Scientist still don’t know the long term effect of COVID-19 and its variants. Yet, the league is putting their best assets, the players, in jeopardy each and every day. Why? In the name of money. They must make up for lost revenues the past couple of seasons due to COVID. From a league claiming that the stories of Kyle Beach and others must be dealt with, where players are better supported and protected, I can’t be the only person thinking that it’s hypocritical to make them play, risking their health that way. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
The NHL must shut down and do it now. They must cancel their participation to the Beijing Olympics due to the recent outbreak and the political instability, the risk of sending their players, coaches, trainers there. For once, the league must think of the people, other than putting money in a few owners’ pockets. Now is the time. Actually, last week was the time. Now it’s overdue.