The Colorado Avalanche will remain in self-quarantine and other updates about the 2019-20 season.
The Colorado Avalanche are in their second month of the hockey hiatus. We’ve been getting updates on their status via social media every now and again. However, we don’t know for certain when hockey will resume again.
Hockey will resume again. The main question is whether we’ll finish this season or if it will be one of those with an asterisk, such as the lockout season or the one in which the Stanley Cup wasn’t awarded because of the Spanish Flu.
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It feels like we’re living in the time of pestilence. Frankly, I’m not a fan.
Anyway, yesterday NHL commissioner Gary Bettman updated us on the current self-quarantine period for NHLers. And by update, I mean he extended it. The self-quarantine period was due to end today, but he’s extended it until April 30.
Now, I don’t know if he means actual self-quarantine, which involves being at least six feet away from anyone at all times, including family members you’re living with. That directive is usually reserved for those with known exposure to COVID-19, and only for the first 14 days. The players have been away from anyone other than family for over three weeks.
What’s more, judging by their social media, they’re not isolating from family members — several players have taken pictures and videos of themselves with their children in close proximity.
I believe the mandate is more of a cross between self-quarantine and stay-at-home. I don’t think the players themselves are supposed to be going out for supplies, but I believe they’re allowed to be around the people in their household.
An interesting snag is that different countries are in different states of lockdown. Canada required anyone returning from another country to self-quarantine legitimately for 14 days. Meanwhile Sweden is employing a very lax approach to the pandemic. Public spaces remain open with a cap limit of 50 people.
Andre Burakovsky is the lone Swede on the Colorado Avalanche who returned to Sweden — Gabriel Landeskog went to Toronto, where his wife is from. I’m not sure if the Swedish situation would have any impact on the potential continuation of the season.
Meanwhile, the United States’ top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, outlined the only possibility for playing any sports this season. The games will have to be without fans in attendance. The players will have to stay in hotels. Test them weekly.
Now, Dr. Fauci didn’t speak about whether the players would have to be separated from their families. In the 1990s, many teams stayed in hotels even at home so they could focus on the playoffs. However, Dr. Fauci did talk about ensuring players didn’t infect their families, so it sounds like he’s not proposing a separation.
Then again, he was talking more about baseball and its entire season. If the NHL decided to implement that model, they might give players the choice about whether to bring their families. Personally, I could see some players wanting them to stay safe elsewhere.
Players leaving their families behind for an extended time isn’t unprecedented. They frequently do so when they’re a rental moved at the trade deadline. They choose not to disrupt their family life for the sake of a few weeks.
Now, at this point some fans start questioning the worth of sports and going to all these extremes. I don’t know about anyone else, but my life has been turned completely upside down. And the cold hard truth is, we’re not going to go back to normal until there’s a vaccine — and that’s, what, 18 months out?
If the teams were willing to go through these extremes, and every effort was made to keep everyone safe — including any needed staff at the closed-off arenas — the spectacles would be a great panacea for the masses. We could have that one little thing that made us forget all the losses we’re enduring.
"“I know they so badly want to give out the Stanley Cup this year, but in all seriousness it’s not going to be like winning a real Stanley Cup because the [regular] season wasn’t finished.”"
The Stanley Cup dates back to 1892. It wasn’t even used for NHL games until 1926 when there were only 10 teams. Prior to that, it was awarded after challenge games. There have been numerous playoff formats throughout its history.
Whichever team — and it wouldn’t be Doughty’s Kings — hoisted the Cup this year would be just as “real” of Stanley Cup winners as players in the Original Six era when four of the six teams advanced to the playoffs.
Governor Jared Polis spoke today about the possible resumption of pro sports. Again, it’s mostly about baseball, but here it is:
Finally, three doctors spoke to The Athletic about what a return to normalcy in sports, with fans in attendance would look like. It’s a nuanced article, but it all comes down to the development of a vaccine and mass testing.
In other words, we’re probably not going to be cheering the Colorado Avalanche in arenas this season and maybe not for most of next season. So, yeah, if it’s safe for all involved, I’d like to see a resumption of the season/playoffs and an award of the “real” Stanley Cup, even if they hoist it in front of an empty arena.
What say you, Colorado Avalanche fans. Next season isn’t going to be normal either. So, shouldn’t we just finish out the season as best we can?