The National Hockey Players Association confirmed on May 22nd that they’ve agreed to extended negotiations with the NHL Corporate Division. These negotiations regarding a new Playoff Format, which would see twenty-four teams compete for the Stanley Cup throughout the 2019-20 Season. The new format would be issued for the 2021-22 NHL Season if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t concluded at that point.

Player Representatives from each NHL Team negotiated with the Board of Executives. Insiders noted that the NHL Player’s Association made several demands that the Corporate Division cannot abide. This has created difficulties in both parties reach a mutual agreement, forcing the extension on negotiations. There are some hockey analysts now questioning if both parties will sign a format contract, with them instead of worrying about personal glory and allowing the upcoming season to be entirely cancelled.

The tense relationship between the NHL Player’s Association, and Corporate Division has increased drastically since the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the 2019-20 Season into postponement by March 12th. There hasn’t been an official announcement when hockey matches will resume throughout North America. It requires extensive logistics that are hard to overcome, including a co-partnership between the American and Canadian Division of the National Hockey League. Considering that both countries are also at odds during the pandemic, the likelihood of this goal being accomplished is dismal.

Logistical Challenges

Health Experts with the Centre of Disease Control, Politician’s in the America Government, and the Canadian National Hockey Association will have to approve the new format issued by the corporate division. That’s if the NHL Player’s Association can sign a formal agreement with their employers. It should be noted that whenever national hockey in North America resumes, attendees won’t be permitted. Stadiums in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Las Vegas will remain empty in the stands.

Creating this new format goes against the core design of National Hockey. There aren’t 24 Outfits competing for the Stanley Cup, with the standard number being eight per conference. An additional eight teams are being permitted to compete. This could create considerable confusion for supporters of the NHL. We’ll provide our readers with an update on if these two parties make a formal agreement.

Supporters behind the National Hockey League were disappointed but not surprised to learn that Ales Hemsky, a veteran Forward with the NHL, is retiring after 2020. Ales made this announcement directly through the NHL Alumni Association, revealing that he should spend time with the children moving forward. Doctors had informed Hemsky that his body couldn’t naturally sustain another season, which was challenging for the Forward to accept and come to terms with. He noted that when you’ve done the same thing for so long, you don’t want to give it up under any conditions.

Ales Hemsky stands at 36 years of age, holding fifteen seasons in the National Hockey League. Throughout this career, more than 652 Games were played with the Edmonton Oilers, with hundreds of other appearances with the Ottawa Senators. This extends towards the Montreal Canadians and Dallas Stars, with Ales Hemsky being one of the few forwards to sustain a lengthy career with four teams. His final season will have been 2019-20 with the Montreal Canadians.

Stats

Hemsky was an influential Forward & Capitan in the National Hockey League. He acquired 570+ points throughout his career, with the overwhelming majority coming from assistance. 174 Goals were accomplished with an additional 398 assists. It should be noted his career extends beyond the regular NHL season. His skillsets obtained Ales a position in the Stanley Cup Players with the Edmonton Oilers.

They’d inevitably lose to the Carolina Hurricanes, with this 13th-Round Pick in the 2001 NHL Draft working towards new accomplishments. Those would include acquiring an Olympic Medal for his home nation of the Czech Republic. Hemsky would accomplish this goal twice, once in 2006 and the other in 2014. He’d also inquire a Gold Medal with the 2016 World Hockey Cup Series.

Public Remarks

Hemsky revealed to reporters that it took twelve months for him to accept retirement. He noted that additional damage had been done to both his shoulders, creating cartilage damage that cannot be reversed. Ales finished his announced retirement by thanking all those involved with improving his career in the National Hockey League.

The American Hockey League was disappointed to announce that their 2020 Regular Season has been cancelled. This followed when organizers initially had planned a postponement period, which would be reviewed every thirty days. The final review period came on May 1st, where it’d ultimately be decided to cancel the entire decision. Organizers were forced into this decision after the novel coronavirus has infected the safety of American civilians. The AHL cannot risk the virus being contracted to players, team personnel, coach staff, or attendees. AHL Representatives also clarified that the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs are cancelled.

March 12th marked the original date that the American Hockey League was suspended. The National Hockey League followed suit & postponed their 2020 season on the same date. It’s prompted analysts to question if NHL Organizers will cancel the full season for this year, which would save the lives of thousands but risk hundreds of millions in lost finances. It should be mentioned that the National Hockey League has experienced multiple outbreaks of the coronavirus, with the most notable being on the Chicago Blackhawks. It’d be in the corporation’s best interest to terminate the 2020 season. Significant lawsuits would subsequently be avoided.

The President Talks

The official notice of cancellation came from David Andrews, the American Hockey League President. He noted that this decision didn’t come lightly and required considerable insight from medical experts. After David obtained the necessary data, it was agreed that maintaining the 2020 season isn’t feasible. The American Hockey League will now work towards organizing the 2020-21 Season, which has been supported by the NHL. David Andrews also thanked the National Hockey League for their leadership through this unexpected period.

David Andrews finished his remarks by expressing the American Hockey League will continue to work towards the Health & Safety of Players, Stadium Workforces, Team Personnel, and Coaching Staff. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this is the 1st time since the AHL was created in 1936 that a season was cancelled, even the Great War couldn’t stop the American Hockey League. David Andrews clarified that those who purchased tickets for 2020 games could receive immediate refunds online.

The British Columbia Hockey League has requested financial aid from province politicians, hoping to offset the substantial losses that’ve followed with the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCHL hasn’t been operational since March 13th, which is when officials were forced into the closure with social distancing measures being implemented across Canada. The unexpected termination of seasonal events came after the BCHL Championship completed its first round. The Hockey Canada Association demanded closures onto all provincial leagues, including the Ontario Hockey League. Shuts downs extend towards Spring & Winter Camps being terminated for 2020. This’ll prompt limited profits for the BCHL, which has already lost funds amidst minimal merchandise sales.

Chris Hebb, the British Columbia Hockey Leagues Commissioner, provided insight into their decision through formal statements with CTV News – Vancouver Edition. He mentioned that the 2021 BCHL Season is playable upon the approval of the Hockey Canada Association. Additional consent is also required from the BC Government. Chris Hebb noted that financial issues for these eighteen units are anticipated, with the possibility of another cancelled season possibly forcing these hockey teams to go bankrupt.

The Meeting & Possible Results

The Commissioner determined early on into the pandemic that a contingency fund was required to protect local teams. Hundreds of thousands are spent monthly to ensure that athletes have survival funds for necessities. Those finances will inevitably deplete, prompting Chris Hebb to seek support from British Columbia politicians. The Commissioner has requested a meeting, upon which he’ll inform these individuals of the social and cultural impact that closures have onto BC Communities. Chris Hebb will also tell them of the financial challenges this’ll bring to local hockey teams.

When speaking with CTV News – Vancouver Edition, the Commission mentioned that the fallout of this closure period would be more extensive than the shutdown itself. Getting civilians to return to local stadiums will be challenging, with Canadians concerned for their medical safety. Chris Hebb also noted that corporate sponsorships would be challenging to locate, with all industries trying to improve their conditions after the novel coronavirus. It should be mentioned that financial aid is almost guaranteed for the BCHL, with hockey being Canada’s national sport.

Canada saw one of its most horrendous crimes this week, with a mass shooting occurring in Nova Scotia. This brutal act of violence caused by twenty-two civilians to lose their lives, including a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer. This was Heidi Stevenson, who’d spent 23 years working with the RCMP. She was near retirement before losing her life. These violent actions prompted the “Nova Scotia Remembers” campaign, which saw notable individuals from the province express their condolences. This included Sydney Crosby, one of the most influential athletes in the NHL.

Most aren’t aware that Sydney Crosby was born and raised throughout Nova Scotia, making this horrendous crime emotionally challenge for the Pittsburgh Penguins Captain. Crosby mentioned that his heart and soul goes out to the people of Nova Scotia, with his remarks extending towards the friends and family affected by this horrific tragedy. The Penguins Forward noted that Heidi Stevenson is the hero of Cole Harbour, of Nova Scotia, and Canada.

Remarks from Sydney Crosby continued, with the NHL Legend thanking all first responders that held their ground throughout this nightmare. These individuals would’ve stuck together in close quarters, meaning that social distancing was avoided. RCMP Constables faced two enemies during the shootout, with the 1st being bullets and the 2nd being COVID-19. Crosby finished his remarks by mentioning how Nova Scotia always stays strong, that they’ll do it again and again.

The Shootings

April 17th & 18th marked the dates when this horrific murderer took towards Cole Harbour, killing 22 civilians from the Nova Scotia region. These deaths prompted the Prime Minister of Canada to get involved, with Justin Trudeau merely mentioning how throughout this challenging time, we must talk with someone we trust. He noted that family and friends should be told their loved because tomorrow isn’t ever promised.

It should be mentioned that Trudeau didn’t provide condolences to the family members or friends of this tragedy, which is unconventional of a Prime Minister to do. The Canadian Leader has infamously been weak throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, often running away to his home when questioned profusely by reporters.

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.