The National Hockey League Player’s Association confirmed that they’d deferred their final decision on last paycheques. This means limiting the paycheques release to hundreds of athletes in North America and Europe. New deferment periods extend towards May 15th, with insiders providing this knowledge to Sportsnet. Details under this original condition allow for the NHLPA to implement a final extension on the deferment period. This will depend on the COVID-19 pandemic conditions throughout North America by May 5th. Governing leaders with the association must request the opinions of players before implementing a final extension. This will require large delegations throughout the next two weeks.

Holding these funds under an “Escrow Position” hasn’t happened since the player association went on strike throughout the 2012-13 NHL Season. Escrow positions with NHL Corporate have typically related to the various NHLPA strikes. This marks the 1st time that funds have been held amidst a global pandemic. It should be noted that these extension clauses are available for players to educate themselves on the seasonal delays accurately. This allows players to determine which option is best with Escrowing. An overall majority will be required by May 5th for this final extension to receive its decision.

The Pause

Players with the National Hockey League have returned to their respective homes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The corporate division was forced to postpone their seasonal events after the American Government, and CDC forced all sporting venues to be shut down. Non-essential services like sports are permitted amidst these unprecedented events. Throughout this period, the NHL has confirmed three different dates for a seasonal relaunch. This included March 30th and April 30th. The latest extension postponed the season indefinitely, with insiders believing that matches won’t resume until late summer.

Supporters behind the National Hockey League should brace themselves for a possible two-year period where matches aren’t played consistently. Medical experts in the United States and the European Union believe that the 2nd wave of COVID-19 will strike worldwide civilians. This could extend to a 3rd wave before a vaccine is released to the general public. NHL athletes wouldn’t be allowed to compete under the potential of a 2nd or 3rd wave.

The novel coronavirus has altered how civilians worldwide maintain their daily lifestyles. The concept of travelling from one border to the next has been eliminated. This extends towards the wealthiest and most noteworthy individuals in North America. Athletes in the National Hockey League aren’t exclusively based in the United States or Canada, with a large percentage coming from the European Union. These athletes have been unable to return home amidst the European-wide travel restrictions. They’ll be forced to remain in their self-quarantine quarters for a prolonged period, most likely until July 2020. Executives with the National Hockey League demanded that their employed athletes, coaching staff and organizers remain at home while committing to self-quarantine measures. Those found disobeying this direct order from NHL Executives will immediately be terminated.

The National Hockey League has postponed their season until June – July 2020. This follows after the COVID-19 pandemic infected North America. 200+ thousand American civilians are expected to die from this virus during the 1st wave, with that number potentially being higher throughout the 2nd and 3rd wave. Medical experts have confirmed that there’ll be multiple waves of this virus before a vaccine is manufactured and provided worldwide. NHL Executives with specialized access to medical data have implemented their postponements based on this information. It’s also the same information that defined their self-quarantine measures for all players, coaches and organizers.

The Solutions

The reality that COVID-19 could sustain itself for two years is settling for millions worldwide. This includes numerous sporting associations like the National Hockey League. Under the condition that this pandemic continues itself for a prolonged period, the NHL will maintain an Esports Virtual Hockey League for the 2021-22 Season. All players will be required to compete for their respective teams, with executives hoping that it’ll provide enough entertainment to keep loyal supporters happy.

=Ensuring a perfect match-up will require the implementation of VR Technologies. The NHL has already contacted manufacturers like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to determine is specialized peripherals can be created for athletes. This means peripheral hockey sticks and VR Helmets, giving these athletes a realistic experience. No confirmation on the implementation of these technologies has been made.

COVID-19 has impacted the global sporting community is ways nobody ever thought possible. Instead of live events occurring every week, sporting associations have switched over to virtual venues. Some are experiencing the COVID-19 Pandemic at its blunt source, with specific individuals being infected themselves. This extends towards the Ottawa Senators, who confirmed on April 1st that an additional four members with their organization have become infected with COVID-19. These individuals haven’t been named, with it also not being confirmed if these members are players or staffers.

This marks the most recent announcement from the Ottawa Senators, who have become the epicentre of COVID-19 for the National Hockey League. Their first infection was confirmed on March 17th, with this individual being a player. A second hockey professional was verified to have the virus by March 20th. It’s suspected that the additional four members contracted with the novel coronavirus are players with the Ottawa Senators and not staffers.

All associated members with the Ottawa Senators were forced into self-isolation by March 13th. Representatives confirmed that all these individuals are doing well, with test results from infected patients indicating that everyone has recovered. An additional two weeks of self-isolation is required for infected individuals. Other participants have been allowed to engage with society for essential requirements like groceries and gasoline.

Insiders with the Ottawa Senators mentioned that one staff members had become infected, with the other three recently confirmed COVID-19 cases being players. This insider notified that these individuals were present during the Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles match-ups. Insiders cannot be trusted until official members make a valid confirmation with the Ottawa Senators. It should be noted that NHL players in San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim haven’t become infected with the novel coronavirus. This leads some sporting analysts to believe that insiders are receiving falsified information.

Commentator Contracts COVID-19

Multiple people throughout the North American Community have contracted the novel coronavirus. This includes one of the exclusive commentators with the Ottawa Senators. It was confirmed on March 17th that Gordon Wilson has tested positive for COVID-19. The Wilson Family has kept his respective condition private to reporters.

The Quebec Provincial Government announced that 300 Thousand Protective Visors would be purchased for healthcare works. These protective visors are being designed, manufactured and shipped by Bauer. This Hockey Equipment manufacturer is known for supplying an entire industry with the required gear to play their sport. Alterations in production were made when Covid-19 became a pandemic across North America. Bauer has begun shipping these mask internationally, which are assisting hundreds of thousands from liming their exposure to Covid-19.

These 300 thousand protective visors are being manufactured at the Blainville Facility, which is located within the province of Quebec. The government greenlit its request to alter the production line for Covid-19 Relief Assistance. Social service workers will also be provided with these masks in Quebec, ensuring that the elderly and in-need receive their required assistance. Production of these masks will begin on April 1st, with fifteen thousand being sent by April 7th. It’ll mark one of the fastest changes to a production line in manufacturing history.

The Health Minister for Quebec, Danielle McCann, provided a formal statement on this announcement. She mentioned that by collaborating with Bauer, it’d better enable the Quebec government to meet the short-term demands of medical workers. Ensuring the supplying of protection tools, which will be essential in the coming months, has become significant for Quebec-born politicians. It should be noted that requests to alter production lines were made on March 25th. Approval was provided 48 hours later. Bauer has also changed production lines in New York State, assisting medical professionals across America.

The Vice President of Production Innovation with Bauer, Dan Bourgeois, spoke of behalf of his company. It was expressed that their decision was inspired by the Quebec Premier, who urged local manufacturers to assist the province with medical supplies. The New York Governor also made similar requests. Profits earned from the manufacturing and shipping of protective visors will be minimal for Bauer, with a 5% return expected. This shows that certain corporations can provide relief and aid during critical moments in human history.

There have been over 6000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada. It’s become a substantial pandemic with 86 citizens dying from the influenza-like virus. However, 500+ people have recovered from Covid-19, with many more expected to come.

The International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the 2020 World Championships would be cancelled. Organizers made this decision after the increasing outbreak of Covid-19 throughout European Nations, primarily Switzerland. Considering that sixteen nations would’ve competed in Switzerland for this championship, organizers were forced to cancel the May 8th to 24th hockey competition.

The President of IIHF expressed that this has been challenging for decision with everyone involved, but that the protection of globally hockey communities is more important than a championship. Rene Fazel mentioned that it’s the responsibility of government bodies, major corporations, sporting outfits and the respective individual to ensure that Covid-19 doesn’t spread internationally anymore than it already has.

It should be mentioned that this is the 1st time in three decades that the IIHF Championship has been cancelled. The last time would’ve been 1988, which followed after two additional cancellations in 1980 and 84. Rene Fazel noted that something special would be implemented next season to honour the fallen individuals from Covid-19. The President was forced to make these announcements after multiple other hockey venues were terminated throughout Switzerland, which included the 2020 IIHF World Women’s Championship for March 7th. This venue would’ve been held in Nova Scotia for March 7th. An additional site for U18 Players was cancelled in Michigan.

Global Restrictions

Travelling internationally have become virtually impossible under the conditions of Covid-19. The International Ice Hockey Federation noted that transferring all registered players to Switzerland would be a logistical challenge for organizers. This means that the most significant hockey competition for Canadians and Europeans have been cancelled for a single year. It’s unknown what the financial impact will be with the lost sponsorship contracts, returned tickets and merchandise sales.

The federation confirmed in their announcement that protective measures had been implemented for their employed workers. These individuals are located at home in self-isolation and committing to their jobs in safer conditions. Employees will continue to be paid for their respective workloads through a robust insurance program maintained by IIHF. Organizers expressed that the safety of their staff, supporters and the overall community is more important than providing this tournament to millions.

The National Hockey League announced that they’d be pausing their 2019-20 Season following the continued outbreak of COVID-19. This announcement came directly from Gary Bettmen on March 13th. It’s unknown when the season will end, with regular series matches slated to end on April 4th. The Stanley Cup Playoffs would’ve started on April 6th. Some sporting analysts anticipate that regular season play won’t resume until May, meaning the NHL 2019-20 Season wouldn’t end until July.

The NHL Commissioner provided public statements regarding this decision. It was noted that with the ongoing developments surrounding COVID-19, medical experts were conveyed during a conference call with the Board of Governors. Consultation services were provided, and it was determined that the best decision going forward was to ensure the protection of public supporters. Mandated protocols from local authorities and health experts have demanded these provisions from the NHL. Strategies developments are being implemented to ensure that all measures are met for the COVID-19 outbreak. This means that increased delays are possible, with the cancellation of the season becoming entirely plausible.

The National Hockey League wasn’t the only sporting association to confirm the postponement of their regular season. The National Basketball Association also cancelled their season until April following the confirmation that multiple players had contracted COVID-19. It prompted all sporting associations in North America to terminate their respective seasons as well. This means that all NHL Facilities have been closed going forward, with janitorial staff being the selective personnel enabled to enter these locations.

Continued Monitoring

Representatives with the National Hockey League confirmed that the situation would be continued to be monitored going forward, with the advice of medical experts continuously being provided daily. These same representatives urged that members of the NHL Community take the necessary precautions to ensure self-quarantine measures are met.

The 2019-20 Season will be resumed once government officials declare that mass gathering is safe. Medical experts believe that large groups of locals won’t be permitted until May or June 2020. It should be noted that team practices and meetings have been postponed within the NHL as well. The NHL Players Association has firmly agreed with the strategic approached displayed by league executives. Considering that this is the most dynamic medical situation seen since SARS, it’s not surprising that multiple sporting outfits have implemented security measures for personal and public safety.

After multiple decades of the National Hockey League being a popular sporting event, the first-ever all-female broadcast was held. This was maintained for International Woman Day, with the show being entirely produced and created by a woman associated with the NHL. The match they were provided for broadcasting included the Saint Louis Blues competing against the Chicago Blackhawks, with St. Louis winning by two goals.

This marks the 1st time in professional hockey broadcasting that an all-woman event was maintained. This included the Anchors, Reporters and Replay Artists. It should be noted that the anchors selected have previous experience reporting hockey, with Kate Scott working for the NBC Sports Network. Additional hosts for this venue included Kendall Coyne Schofield, AJ Mleczko, Kathryn Tappen and Jennifer Botterill. Both AJ and Jennifer have previous experience in the Olympics with professional hockey.

There has been a secretive backlash towards this decision, with some male anchors purposely providing horrendous advice to this woman. Immature actions primarily went unrecognized, with Mike Tarico mention to Kate Scott and Kendall Schofield that they should act like their unaware of the game. Considering this is Mike Tarico’s main tactic to create drama around his programs, it’s not surprising he’d suggest this advice to this woman. Both ignored Mike Tarico and focused on providing an incredible broadcast for two of the most notable franchises in the National Hockey League. Kate Scott expressed how she was excited to meet this Gold Medalist Olympians and that it was one of her best television experiences to date.

Additional Female Broadcasts

It should be noted that Sportsnet has regularly included a female presence with their productions for forty years. The most notable before this event was when more woman than men created a broadcast last year for the Vegas Golden Knights and Calgary Flames. It was this event that prompted the National Hockey League to create this concept for International Woman’s Day. Multiple all-female broadcasts with a minimal male presence have been maintained as well. This included a match between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils in 2008. Going forward it’s unknown the extent of power woman will have with NHL Broadcasting, with most sporting analysts collectively agreeing that this benefits the sport.

The Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins in the last couple of days become trade allies. This comes after Boston signed Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks and on Friday signed Nick Ritchie in exchange for Danton Heinen.

The brother of Nick Ritchie already is signed with Boston but was moved to its AHL Providence team. The signing of Nick gives the Bruins the higher valued brother who was chosen by the Ducks in the 2014 draft. While most feel that at 24 Ritchie hasn’t played his best hockey yet but brings plenty to the table and will be a welcomed addition to its lineup. At 6-foot-2 and 234 pounds, Ritchie uses his size as a physical forechecker and in the past three seasons has averaged over 1000 minutes a season and is 21st in the rankings for hits in a 60 minute period.

That makes him ideal for the Boston Bruins and their style of play. He also can score and has averaged twelve goals for every 80 games player. This theoretically puts him in a good position to be the guy to park in front of the net during power players, a role that the Ducks never really allowed to blossom. In the 287 games he played in Anaheim, he averaged almost 60 seconds per power play, and that puts him under the top 400 forwards in the NHL.

In terms on the Ducks, they feel they got the better end of the deal in Heinen. Only slightly older than Ritchie, he is under contract through to the end of 2020-2021 before becoming a restricted free agent. He has played alongside some of the Bruins best power lines but was never given a major role and only averaging less than 15 minutes on the ice per game and was often bounced around from left to right wing. However, is has been productive, averaging 1.7 points per sixty minutes.

That puts Heinen on par with Patric Hornqvist, Jared McCann, Kyle Palmieri and Kevin Labanc. Still, many feel he deserved a look at a long-term role with the BDucks as they continue to rebuild and are perfectly suited to give him that opportunity.

Two announcements were made regarding two players acquired during the 2021 NHL Draft. This included the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets, both teams being located in Canada. It was first revealed that Connor McDavid is remaining with the Edmonton Oilers on February 20th, with details regarding his return to the ice unknown. This comes as a substantial draft pick for the Oilers, with Connor McDavid, ranked 4th in the National Hockey League. Last season he maintained 30 goals with 51 assists throughout a 55-game period. The Edmonton Oilers have acquired McDavid after he was placed onto injured reserve retroactive leave on February 9th.

Head Coach for the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Tippet spoke to reporters regarding the condition of Connor McDavid. It was noted that the two had conversed earlier throughout the week, with their future centre forward receiving the necessary treatment. The healing period for these injuries is expected to be 2-3 weeks. These injuries occurred on February 11th, meaning he’ll be back in action roughly March 1st to 8th.

This doesn’t mean that Edmonton Oiler supporters and coaching staff are both hoping that these injuries will heal faster than anticipated. Dave Tippet noted that they aren’t concerned for the upcoming NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Connor McDavid expected to be fully healed and re-trained before this period. It should be noted he’s currently remaining in Toronto until the quad injury is treatable via surgery.

Winnipeg Jets Acquire Cody Eakin for 2021 NHL Draft

Another shocking announcement was made for the 2021 NHL Draft Period. It was revealed that Cody Eakin would be leaving the Vegas Golden Nights for the Winnipeg Jets, with this centre forward standing at the 4th round pick. This acquisition follows after committing to a four-year contract with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, with him acquiring four goals and six assists throughout this season. It should be noted that Cody Eakin is a Winnipeg native, with him often expressing a desire to play with this outfit.

It’s expected that both the Winnipeg Jets and Las Vegas Golden Knights will combat each other during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Cody Eakin will be forced to compete against his new employers. Following this announcement, the Golden Knights are acquiring Alex Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings. He has performed a similar manner to Cody Eakin. This last season has seen Alex Martinez receive several assists and one goal, all of this while being in the defenceman position.

Players in the National Hockey League will need to consider the longstanding impact of their sticks moving forward into the 2020 season. Sacrificing their hockey sticks to intimidate opponents or express their aggression will be regarded as unwanted behaviour from coaching staff. This follows after the coronavirus in China, which is limiting the production of hockey sticks for global organizations. This extends to the NHL, which is raising concern regarding a shortage of sticks from CCM and Bauer. Their Chinese factories have been shut down since the outbreak reach their 1st peaks by February 5th. Subsequently, NHL outfits and players are beginning to prepare for a steep shortage. Some believe this shortage won’t last longer than two months.

It’s estimated that each player goes through 100+ sticks per season, with Jack Eichel and Tyler Seguin exceeding those numbers extensively. It’s reported that top-rated athletes in the National Hockey League use new sticks with each practice session or game. This luxury will be immediately terminated going forward, with CCM and Bauer representatives expressing that their monitoring this situation. There have even been players from the Toronto Maple Leaf’s and Dallas Stars that have brought home-based sticks to professional matches. It should be noted that both these manufacturers maintain production facilities in Tijuana, with 10% of their overall development going towards the NHL.

The Shortage Affecting CCM & Bauer

CCM and Bauer have received significant backlash from executives with the NHL, who claim their focus should be on prior contracts with sporting leagues and not global retail markets. This followed after both manufacturers said that amateur players wouldn’t have any impact on available products. However, considering that minor league hockey has more significant cash flows in North America, it’s not surprising that Bauer and CCM are focusing 90% of their production to retail markets.

This has resulted in NHL Equipment Managers, the representatives and players to navigate this shortage with the best of intentions. Paul Boyer from the Detroit Red Wings expressed that they have enough inventory to last two weeks, with the next shipment not coming for four weeks. This will create a two-week delay for multiple NHL organizations. It’s estimated that Bauer and CCM provide more than 50,000.00 hockey sticks throughout a standard NHL Season. This means 1600+ units per team. The NHL could be forced to contact other suppliers and create new contracts to keep teams stocked with hockey sticks.