All-Canadian Division On The NHL Table
Since the continued closure of the Canada/U.S. border is a deciding factor impacting how the NHL will have to operate in the coming season, the league is currently considering creating a competition to be played among Canadian clubs only. And since yet another resurgence of infections now appears imminent on the U.S. side of the border, it’s a situation not likely to self-resolve anytime soon.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly this week revealed to a prominent sports broadcaster some of the possibilities currently being considered so as to ensure a successful NHL return-to-play. Having 7 Canadian teams make up 1 of 4 National Hockey League divisions is but one of the more likely options available to the league at this stage of the proceedings.
Bio-Bubble Has Proven Successful
Health officials are wagering a full-on war trying to limit rising numbers on the U.S. as well as the Canadian side of the border separating the two countries. Which is why Earl Brown, a professor in biochemistry, microbiology and immunology at the University of Ottawa is of the opinion that the league may very well have to reinstate the bubble concept on a more “permanent” basis – or at least until such time as a more permanent solution has been developed in terms of the ongoing health crisis.
The concept of a bio-bubble, so explains Moshe Lander, who is a senior lecturer in the economics of sports, gaming, and gambling at the University of Concordia, has proved successful within the context of the annual calendars of several big sports leagues – including the NBA and the NHL. Both leagues made successful use of bio-bubbles for their respective playoffs seasons.
The MLB and the NFL, on the other hand, were eventually forced to reschedule several games due to their having initially opted to continue with traditional scheduling formats instead.
NYD Likely Start Of New Season
The earmark right now is to begin the new NHL season on New Year’s Day, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said.
A possible spanner thrown in the works could however prove to be an unwillingness of players to spend an entire season bio-bubbled and as such, away from their families for extended periods of time, said NHL Players’ Association executive Don Fehr earlier this week.
But according to Lander, the league does have more than one option. And since owners will be eager to settle on a format largely mitigating losses suffered this year, it would serve the NHL well to explore every possible option at their disposal – including that of an on-again-off-again bubble.