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Could Growing Number of Positive Covid Cases Affect NHL’s Return?

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Jun/19/2020

With three players and some staff tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tampa Bay Lightning's facility Friday, the question needs to be asked:  Will this affect the return of the NHL next month?


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TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie says probably not.

"I don’t think the NHL is surprised that some players are testing positive. And in fact, I won’t be surprised if we get more players testing positive in other locales. We know that Florida, Texas and Arizona are all big time COVID-19 hotspots and here’s the problem with Phase 2 – the voluntary Phase 2 of the NHL’s plan.

"The players are not under lockdown. They’re not in the bubble. The ultimate NHL plan is to get to Phase 3, which is training camp on July 10 and ultimately Phase 4 at the beginning of August to play games. In Phase 4, it’s a totally locked down environment and the league believes it can control that.

"So the question I guess I would ask is, how much between now and the potential for Phase 4 – assuming you get there – is there if you keep getting a lot of positive tests? What impact does that have on the players, who by the end of this month have to decide whether they’re going to sign off on the terms and conditions and the economic conditions including a CBA of Phase 3 and Phase 4. For now, I think the NHL will be proceeding business as usual, but I think everyone is waiting to see how many more positive tests there are and what the psychological impact of this is on the players who have to vote on whether to come back for Phase 3 and Phase 4."

NHL players aren't the only professional athletes practicing in the Sunshine State who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Players with both the Blue Jays and Phillies, including staff, have also tested positive on Friday forcing the temporary shutdown of their facilities.

Florida's coronavirus cases are up by 144 per cent.

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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