NHL Confident It Can Finish Full Season Amid Postponements
The NHL is confident that it can successfully complete a full regular season despite a recent rash of postponements due to COVID-19. The league has seen more than 30 games postponed this season, and a number of players lands on the COVID-19 protocol list, prompting serious concerns about the ability of the league to complete the 56-game season.
“We have postponed and had to reschedule 35 games. We’ve been able to do that fairly seamlessly,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan on Monday. “I hope that the number of postponements and rescheduling goes down as we go forward, but we haven’t even really eaten at all into the buffer period we built into the end of the schedule.”
“We’ve always said we want to be done by the middle of July,” Daly said. “Whether that’s July 10 or whether that’s July 20, I couldn’t tell you. As I sit here, we have some flexibility. But that’s certainly the zone that we’re targeting.”
“Quite frankly, we have a lot of players involved, right? We have a lot more than the NBA – around 725 players on active rosters plus taxi squad players plus AHL players. There are just a lot of players around,” Daly said.
“Would I have hoped for less cases and fewer outbreaks among clubs? The answer to that is yes. Whether I can say it was a surprise to me, I’m not sure it necessarily is.”