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Rick Zamperin: COVID-19 continues to force sports leagues to stickhandle

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the league is still planning for a 2020 season, but the situation continues to change.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the league is still planning for a 2020 season, but the situation continues to change. The Canadian Press / Andrew Vaughan

The decision by the National Hockey League to postpone its combine awards show and draft due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a little unnerving.

Actually, it’s a lot unnerving.

The league’s combine for draft eligible players was scheduled from June 1 to 6 in Buffalo, the NHL Awards was slated to be held June 18 in Las Vegas, and the NHL Entry Draft was set for June 26-27 in Montreal.

No new dates have been announced, which tells me that league officials are just like the rest of us — we have no idea how long the global pandemic is going to last.

The NHL isn’t alone in planning ahead.

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Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie says they are still tossing around different options when it comes to how COVID-19 will impact the 2020 season, and newly-elected CFLPA president Solomon Ellimimian is telling players to prepare for the worst.

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READ MORE: CFL continues to discuss potential contingency plans amid COVID-19 pandemic

Both men say no decisions have been made in regards to delaying training camps, which are scheduled to start in mid-May, or pushing back the start of the season on June 11.

One scenario that is being bandied about is the potential of an eight-game season, with every team playing each other once, starting on Labour Day and ending with the Grey Cup in Regina on Nov. 22.

In a nine-team league, an eight-game CFL regular season should be the absolute minimum that lands on the table because anything less than that wouldn’t constitute a credible — or fair — campaign.

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The good news is, the league has a little time on its hands.

The bad news is, the clock isn’t going to stop ticking.

Edmonton Oilers address unprecedented impact of coronavirus pandemic on NHL operations
Edmonton Oilers address unprecedented impact of coronavirus pandemic on NHL operations