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Other Sports Seeing Players Opt Out, Will Hockey Too?

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When it comes to Coronavirus, people’s opinions are like fingerprints. Everyone has them, but no two are the same.

For some, they act like the virus doesn’t exist, carrying on about their everyday life without a care in the world (for themselves or others). While others treat it like contracting the virus means certain death for all. Most fall somewhere in between but everyone’s opinion shapes their decision making and due to the lack of hard facts available, it’s impossible to truly challenge anyone’s actions.

With the NHL set to unveil their plans for Phase 3 and 4 of the return to play plan, we’re going to have to brace for the range of opinions, and actions, that will come with it from players.

Since the announcement of the playoff format and the opening of voluntary training camps as Phase 2, hockey is been the quietest sport regarding those challenging the sport’s return.

In the NBA and WNBA, it feels like every day another player announces he or she is dropping out and will not head to the bubble. MLB finally came to an agreement on how their season will resume and with it has come a rash of their players saying they’re out. Golf, tennis, and soccer have all seen it to a degree too. The NHL may very well be next.

Hockey has a much different culture than most other North American sports. It’s very team-oriented and players will go to great lengths to keep the spotlight off themselves.

I haven’t heard anything (about players opting out) and I’ve been on a couple calls and that hasn’t really been a thing. I think there’s a lot of discussion about what would happen. Obviously there are health risks for sure so it’s something you’ve got to be careful with and I think the NHL, especially our staff, has done an outstanding job of following the protocols and making sure everyone’s safe. -Brayden McNabb

However, the virus has a powerful impact on the actions of athletes, especially when it comes to their families.

The NHL’s concept is still in an abstract form with the idea of “hub cities” hosting the games. Once the league confirms specific details about living accommodations, testing protocols, family involvement, and everything else that goes along with creating a virus-free bubble, players may speak up and likely act upon those words as well.

Players opting out is just another unknown that comes with the NHL’s attempt to resume the 2019-20 season and award the Stanley Cup.

Hockey may or may not see it happen, but don’t be surprised if it does.


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  1. Doktor Hockey

    I am not familiar with these guys you are quoting from. Don’t know their level of connection to reliable info in the NHL. IF they are credible then I say WOW! I never would have thought that 75% of players are saying they don’t want to play? Go for the cup? It’s hard for me to believe that, BUT if it were true … then I think completing the season without a majority of the players behind it, will be very difficult if not impossible to get done! I hope these guys are full of crap. I hope it is not true!

    • Daryl

      I call BS on Engels comment, whoever the hell he is. With the down time I’ve read a lot from what other teams have posted and this is the first where I’ve read when anyone has said players do not want to play. I think Engels person is just giving his own opinion on what he wants to happen.

      As for fear of the virus, I get the concerns but what the NHL has put in place I think that potential is very minimal. The on going testing, the small practice sessions, the isolation… the players are better protected than the general public. It would be great if they can set something up for players to see their families. Isolate the families, test them, then let them all get to gather. There should be no risk

      • Jim

        How would you like your nasal/sinus passages invaded every morning for 3 months???
        Still a pipedream. Tick tock Buttman.

        • Daryl

          For a couple Mil a year, go for it. You make it sound like it’s a huge deal when in fact it isn’t. I’m glad these players are more dedicated than you are

    • Jim

      If you don’t know Bob Mackenzie then you should change your last name from “Hockey” to ping pong or something.

  2. Tim

    I think or at least hope the NHL has a hockey playoff. Without deep pockets they’ll hang in there to the bitter end before they call the season. I see new Las Vegas cases yesterday were around 1,100. What happened to the hot weather would kill the virus. Let’s just hope hockey players have been more vigilant then players in other sports.

    • Daryl

      All these new cases really don’t mean anything. Reason why so many cases now is because more and more people are getting tested. The most important number ate the deaths and that number isn’t increasing. The death rate is lowering by the day. And with the players being isolated, what happens in the public shouldn’t affect the players or where the games are being played

  3. Doktor Hockey

    Looking more and more that Vegas is not going to be a hub. I’ve said before that the hubs should be in Canada.

  4. Doktor Hockey

    So today, I got a nice message from #5. (the REAL Deryk). He heard about my situation and sent best wishes. He’s a great guy ! Certainly brightened my day. Made my year!

  5. Tim

    Looks like we won’t be a hub city. I think just playing at home would be a slight edge even without fans but oh well it looks like were off to Edmonton.

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