The NHL is planning to allow players to return to their home cities to begin small optional group skates and workouts in early June. Read MoreNHL releases Phase 2 of return-to-sport plan; expects early June roll out — Winnipeg Sun
NHL releases Phase 2 of return-to-sport plan; expects early June roll out
Paul FriesenMore from Paul Friesen
Published:May 25, 2020
Updated:May 25, 2020 12:41 PM CDT
The NHL is planning to allow players to return to their home cities to begin small optional group skates and workouts in early June.
The plan is outlined in a comprehensive, 21-page document covering Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play protocol, released on Monday.
It allows for players to travel back to their team cities if they choose to, where extensive testing and prevention guidelines will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The document covers everything from the number of players who can skate at one time to how their equipment is handled to where they should eat meals and have showers.
It also includes a warning.
“This Protocol, while very comprehensive, cannot mitigate all risk,” the memo reads. “A range of clinical scenarios exist, from very mild to fatal outcome. COVID-19 generally affects older age groups and those with previously existing medical conditions, moreso than younger, and otherwise healthy, individuals, and we recognize that Players and personnel have family and household members who may fall into these vulnerable categories.”
Players who travel back to their team sites commercially will be forced to self-quarantine for 14 days before taking part. Those travelling privately or by charter flight can avoid the quarantine period if local regulations allow.
NHL and AHL players will be compensated up to $1,500 U.S. for travel, and any who don’t have permanent residences will be put up in hotels, provided the hotels have strict cleaning and virus prevention standards and the amenities players are used to having on road trips.
The memo says all players and team staff will be subject to a COVID-19 test, but only if there is enough local testing capacity “so as to not deprive health care workers, vulnerable populations and symptomatic individuals from necessary diagnostic tests.”
If testing is not available, returning players and staff will have to quarantine for two weeks.
Players and staff will also be subject to daily temperature and symptom checks before being allowed to enter team facilities. Anybody developing symptoms will be tested immediately and, if positive, will be quarantined.
The NPB season will be played without fans. Teams can being practice games on June 2.Japanese Baseball to begin June 19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Twins, has listed its stadium on Airbnb, a creative way to create income during a pandemic.Twins’ Double-A team lists stadium on Airbnb — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
Shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have caused businesses across the country to get creative in order to remain in the black. Count Minor League Baseball teams among them. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos — the Twins’ Double-A affiliate — listed its home ballpark on Airbnb.
— Pensacola Blue Wahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) May 23, 2020
Those who pay $1,500 per night can spend the night at the ballpark, gaining access to the field, batting cage, and clubhouse. The bedroom contains 10 beds and three bathrooms. If guests want to, they can play on the field as balls, bats, and helmets are included in the deal.
The Wahoos will have a stadium representative on site at all times to answer questions and ensure rules are followed.
Minor league teams are heavily reliant on gate revenue, which has vanished during the pandemic. It would not be surprising to see other teams follow the Blue Wahoos’ lead, listing their stadiums on Airbnb as a way to create a little bit of income.
Tampa Bay Lightning player representative Alex Killorn wants to make one thing perfectly clear, “Everyone on our team wants to play,” he said to Joe Smith of theAthletic.com. The Tampa Bay Lightning were one of two teams (Carolina was the other) to say no in a vote the NHLPA had to authorize the continuation of […]NHL: An explanation of why the Tampa Bay Lightning voted no on NHLPA vote — Empire Sports Media
Dwyane Wade has been impressed by how R.J. Barrett has handled the spotlight playing in New York City.Canadian Connection: RJ Barrett cherished playing against Jamal Murray — The Rookie Wire
On Sunday, the Nationals virtually unveiled their 2019 World Series championship rings, commemorating their seven-game triumph over the Astros last October.Nationals virtually unveil 2019 World Series rings — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
Formula E driver Daniel Abt was disqualified after finishing third in a virtual race after it turned out he had been cheating by using a stand-in driver. Like most sports, Formula E events had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the organization turned to virtual races using some of its drivers. Saturday’s Formula…Formula E Driver Disqualified After Cheating in Virtual Race — Variety