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Will the NHL be back January 1?

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Manitoba is in Code Red, most of Canada should be the same as should the USA. So why are we talking about sports?

2020 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

It is a bit of a mistake to say that we are talking about sports unless it is how sports are back to being cancelled, how hockey teams are practicing illegally, and how bad players are looking after they’ve returned from COVID-19. Oh that and the fact that the Minnesota Vikings are currently on a win streak. We are going through extraordinary times.

But we will be talking about sports shortly or at least that is the NHL’s plan. It doesn’t seem like a safe plan though. The initial plan worked partially because the pandemic was not raging in most of the Western world again and places were starting to return to normal. They could limit player contacts still to a degree and players were able to re-enter their countries of work for camp with no issue. That might not be the case anymore. They might be on new visas that cannot be honoured anymore. That alone could become a mess.

The other part is slightly different: what would the season look like. The NHL is considering mini-hubs where they have a group of teams go to a city for 10-12 games and then home for a week. This is a good, logical idea and it might even work, but securing those areas to become hub cities could be hard especially with the new hot spots basically being the entire US and most of Canada.

So the NHL is left with a goal of starting January 1, 2021 and no concrete plans yet. They took a while on the playoff hubs though so we will let it go. All I can say is it going to be interesting.