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NHL Reveals Icy Suggestions for Altered Rules Upon Comeback


I recently read an article regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the National Hockey League including a suggestion from an infectious disease specialist who was interviewed by The Sporting News’ Ryan Rishaug as he provided solutions to getting players back on the ice to resume the NHL season.

In reading this doctor’s suggestions I found myself laughing. As I give you his guidelines to having hockey return to play, do your best not to chuckle as I did. Below you will find the suggestions with my reaction to each.

Full face shields, potentially modified to further reduce the spread of droplets

First of all as per the online site “WebMD” a virus can only be spread via the following transmissions: coughing, sneezing and that must enter another person by landing on or in their mouth or nose according to WebMD. Therefore, this disease specialist in question is proposing full face shields. I suppose he thinks hockey players are going to be going up and down the ice sneezing and coughing on each other? Additionally WebMD went a step further and said germs are passed to other people when mucus droplets are touched on surfaces that came from another person and then the eyes, mouth, or nose is touched with the germ infected body part. So we are to believe hockey players with all their gloves and protective gear are going to be affected this way?

No fighting

As the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield once said, “I get no respect…I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out!” With the NHL comes fights. Just accept that. They may not occur as much since the infamous “Broadway Bullies” known as the Philadelphia Flyers took the ice back in the 1970s but there will be fights in hockey. How can anyone expect fistfights on the ice to stop cold turkey? It ain’t happening.

No scrums after whistles for linesmen to break up

It seems this suggestion is forcing hockey to go in the direction of “no contact hockey.” Hockey is probably the most physically contacting sport outside of combat sports. There is so much arrogance and attitude in the National Hockey League that to ask players not to mix it up at any moment is an utterly ridiculous request.

Coaches to practice social distancing and wear face masks on the bench

As I had indicated in my UFC article that you can find on Abstract Sports COVID-19 spokesperson Dr. Fauci said in an interview on 60 Minute: “People should not be walking around with masks. There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” So this unnamed disease specialist wants social distancing to be practiced in pro hockey and the coaches to wear face masks? Listen, not just hockey but any other sport will NOT survive if there is social distancing put in place. It’s just not possible. Why suggest just the coaches? What about the players? Can you fathom any players skating around with full face shields as prescribed above or even just a cloth mask? The COVID-19 impact gets sillier every day.

Wingers to maintain two feet of distance on faceoffs instead of the traditional crossing of sticks and leaning into the same space

REALLY? Come on man…a faceoff with players two feet apart? He’s joking right? This might be the dumbest suggestion of all that has been made by this person. This is not even worth another comment.

No spitting on ice or the bench

In internet acronyms…LOL! I mean say what? I suppose if one player had a disease or virus or some illness and he spit in the mouth of another player or onto an open would on his skin, then yes, spitting would be a big problem. But watch any athlete that spits on the field of play and 99% of the time he is spitting directly to the ground. It seems to be the man proposing these ideas is avoiding the real point in question…he does NOT want sports to return.

The bottom line is hockey for 2020 is probably done. The NBA is in the same boat. Baseball is heading down the same path. The National Football League says they will have a season this year but I’ll believe that when I see it.

The only way any of the sports return in any fashion is if each commissioner and the owners concur that there is no threat to anyone by resuming play as it was. UFC President Dana White has been staging fights and while fans aren’t there, the fighters have exchanged blood and sweat and there has been no issue. That’s because there isn’t one. It’s just unfortunate that most of the world has bought into what the media and our politicians have fed us. The numbers are out there that show it is safe for people to go about their business and just being aware of their surroundings and environment using safe and good health practices. Until people start waking up and forcing the issue, we can expect 2020 to be a non-sports year.

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About the author

Harv Aronson

Harv Aronson was born and raised in Pittsburgh but now lives in Florida with his beautiful wife Melissa.

Harv currently writes for Abstract Sports, the Sports History Network, and the magazine Gridiron Greats. Harv wrote the published book "Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans" and as a professional writer has had articles published in an array of sports publications.

Harv loves all sports but football and baseball are at the top of his interest. His passion is for sports history. You can also watch Harv’s videos on his YouTube channel “Total Sports Recall.”

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