As the Stanley Cup was lifted last night, the thought crossed my mind … when will we see hockey again?
Kudos to the NHL for its version of bubble hockey which sustained a COVID-free zone for multiple months.
But as for next season, the bubble has burst and the NHL is set to figure out a new plan to play safe.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has already stated the original start date of Dec. 1 for the 2020-2021 campaign is likely to be delayed until the New Year.
And let’s be real here — the NHL and its 31 teams have all taken a major hit financially. Fans need to be part of the equation when the puck drops on next season to make it viable.
Congratulations on winning the Stanley Cup, @TBLightning. And to my friend, Mayor @JaneCastor, don’t drop it on the beach! Winnipeg and our @NHLJets want it soon in good condition. @NHL https://t.co/GQxSUdVLPl
— Mayor Brian Bowman (@Mayor_Bowman) September 29, 2020
And if that’s not a big enough challenge in pandemic times … there’s the issue of the Canada/US border: when will it open? What quarantine rules will be in place?
Once again, the NHL is facing many of the same issues it had prior to the return to play for the now complete Stanley Cup playoffs.
So, when will we see hockey again? Three months, six months … maybe more?
Are we back where we started with the virus in control?
I choose to be hopeful and believe hockey won’t be halted — that we’ll experience the offseason and ring in 2021 with prosecco and a puck drop.