The NHL says it stays hopeful the Vancouver Canucks can full a 56-game schedule despite the fact that 25 members of the workforce have examined constructive for a variant type of COVID-19, however some specialists query if that’s doable.
The Canucks launched a press release Wednesday saying 21 gamers, together with three on the taxi squad, plus 4 employees members, “have examined constructive and the supply an infection is confirmed a variant.” Which variant has not been confirmed.
On Tuesday, when the Canucks had 18 gamers on the COVID-19 protocol listing, an NHL
An NHL agent stated he had heard nothing about any plans to cancel video games.
“Thus far it feels like they’ll push ahead primarily based on what I am listening to,” the agent stated.
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Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious illness doctor for St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, stated research have proven folks affected by the totally different variants “will get well on tempo,” however relying on the severity of the virus — skilled gamers might have additional time to regain their conditioning.
“They might be out of quarantine in 10 days, however numerous gamers might not return after they’re thought-about clear,” he stated. “They might really want a number of weeks to get again to hockey regular.”
The Canucks’ scenario is sophisticated as a result of so many gamers have contracted the virus.
“You probably have an outbreak of 5 – 6 [players] you possibly can fill within the gaps, you possibly can anticipate a few of your gamers to situation correctly,” Chagla stated. “At 21 gamers, that is 21 totally different gamers that have to situation correctly, that is 21 gamers that have to get again into form, recover from their COVID and heal.”
Recovering from the virus is totally different from rehabbing after a sports activities harm.
“[A] lot of those guys, it feels like, have been in mattress at residence,” Chagla stated. “You are shedding muscle mass; you are shedding that elite form.”
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When the primary Canuck participant examined constructive final week, Vancouver’s subsequent 4 video games have been postponed. The Canucks have been scheduled to return to play Thursday in Calgary towards the Flames. The Canucks’ web site now says that sport and one other on Saturday in Calgary have been postponed.
The NHL season was initially scheduled to finish Could eight however has already been prolonged to Could 11 to permit for beforehand postponed video games.
The Canucks have 19 common season video games remaining.
The price of doing enterprise
Corey Hirsch, a former NHL goaltender who’s now a member of the Canucks’ radio broadcast workforce, worries in regards to the bodily pressure pressured on gamers if they’re anticipated to play their remaining video games in a condensed time period after overcoming the virus.
“You’re speaking about the entire workforce,” he stated. “You are not solely speaking about one man. My query could be if they’re vulnerable to harm due to the bodily form they’re in.”
Moshe Lander, a senior lecturer within the economics of sports activities, gaming and playing at Concordia College in Montreal, stated the Canucks’ scenario is a results of the NHL “not effervescent up for a season.”
“The NHL has accepted that is the price of doing enterprise,” stated Lander.
Delaying the beginning of the playoffs creates issues for groups within the different three divisions, Lander stated. The league additionally will not need the playoffs extending into late July due to the Tokyo Summer season Video games.
Final yr’s playoffs, which included a play-in spherical, started Aug. 1 and ended Sept. 28.
Lander predicts Vancouver may solely play 50 video games, which can impression different groups within the NHL’s North Division.
“A complete bunch of Canuck video games are going to be cancelled, not going to be made up,” he stated. “You are cancelling video games towards the Oilers, or the Canadiens, or [other teams] which might be playoff-bound so their rating system goes to be disrupted.
“The NHL has protocols in place to find out tiebreakers. I am assuming it is simply going to be greatest successful share. Everyone has performed sufficient video games at this level that you’ve got an inexpensive sufficient pattern measurement to know who [the playoff teams] are.”
Even earlier than the virus struck, Vancouver confronted an uphill battle to make the playoffs.
Heading into Wednesday evening, the Canucks (16-18-3) trailed Montreal by eight factors for the ultimate playoff spot within the North Division.