Should the NHL resume its 2019-20 season, doctors believe players will need to take some added precautions.
The league paused operations in March due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the United States. There were 189 regular season games left on the schedule, with the playoffs just mere weeks away.
Hockey, obviously, is a hard-hitting contact sport. And TSN’s Ryan Rishaug on Tuesday revealed he spoke with a doctor who relayed some potential changes from an infectious disease specialist.
Here’s what was recommended:
- Full face shields, potentially modified to further reduce the spread of droplets
- No fighting
- No scrums after whistles for linesmen to break up
- Coaches to practice social distancing and wear face masks on the bench
- Wingers to maintain two feet of distance on faceoffs instead of the traditional crossing of sticks and leaning into the same space
- No spitting on ice or the bench
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly isn’t quite convinced these will be necessary.
“We would consider anything our infectious disease experts and advisors might recommend,” Daly told Rishaug. “But I’m not sure given the circumstances of our game that any dramatic modifications will really be necessary.”
Only time will tell if the NHL not only will resume, but will implement any sort of new safety measures.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports Images