Cases of COVID-19 are spiking again in the United States. This has led many in the hockey world to believe that Vegas may lose its place as one of the NHL Hub Cities giving way to both Edmonton and Toronto.
However, the real concern for the NHL will be the players themselves opting out of returning.
MLB and NBA players opting out of returning due to virus
The fallout has begun in both Major League Baseball and the NBA. ,The list of MLB players opting out is now at four.
In the NBA seven players including DeAndre Jordan of the Brooklyn Nets have decided they will not return, either.
Recently, Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals posted a message that he will not play baseball this season.
“After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances – three young children, including a newborn, and a mother at high risk – I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season,” the World Series champion wrote.
— CAA Baseball (@CAA_Baseball) June 29, 2020NHL players have expressed concerns due to COVID-19
More NHL positive COVID-19 cases (FTHN Edit)
Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers issued a statement expressing his concerns recently. The Blueshirts leading scorer said, “I have concerns not only about the health of players and their families but also about the longterm prosperity of the NHL.”
Another star who opened up was Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. “It’s a very unusual situation. I want the opportunity to be able to play for a Stanley Cup, but I want to be able to continue living life normally,” Price said.
One of the best goaltenders in the world remains in the U.S. across the continent from Montreal 15 days before NHL camps are supposed to begin and Canada has a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Here’s Carey Price on Canadiens call earlier about his uncertainties: pic.twitter.com/1GNoy76gc1
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 25, 2020
Those are two prominent names expressing the obvious potential health issues that returning players are facing. The virus is not gone and there is no vaccine to date.
While we know the mortality rate is low for healthy young adults, it is still a risk. And we do know this is a highly contagious virus that 26 NHL players out of 250 have tested positive for since phase 2 started on June 8th. That includes Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
An NHL player opting out is inevitable
An NHL player opting out of returning is not a matter of if, but when. Two young players I can think of off the top of my head are diabetic. Both Max Domi of the Canadiens and Kaapo Kakko of the Rangers have expressed a desire to play and their teams will be consulting with doctors throughout. By the time Phase 4 rolls around desire to play or not, …read more