It was 10 days ago when I tweeted this:
Some people starting to wonder: could the coronavirus disrupt the Avs/NHL season?
What happens if one NHL player gets it?
— Adrian Dater (@adater) March 2, 2020
It got a pretty good round of mocking, a couple of memes showing me as Chicken Little or Homer Simpson’s dad on a street corner with a sign around him saying the world is about to end. I tried to laugh it off like that too, only what’d I’d heard before tweeting that kept sticking with me over the next few days.
Now, on Thursday, the NHL will announce its plans on whether it will suspend its season or not – just like the NBA did tonight.
Everyone I’ve talked to connected to the game expects the NHL will follow suit. But, there are some theorists who believe that because the financial losses would be too steep for the NHL to play without fans and gate revenue, that they might try to get away with playing games anyway, even without spectators, and making up as much money as they can on TV revenues.
Gary Bettman is a lawyer, first and foremost, and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. Personally, I just can’t see him presiding over a league playing its games where, if anybody gets sick/contracts-the-virus at the game, it opens itself up to a litany of lawsuits and bad publicity.
That’s why I personally believe the NHL will suspend the season until further notice, just like the NBA did. Why they didn’t just go ahead and do that tonight is at least giving some of the “don’t do it!” crowd some reason for hope.
Elliotte Friedman gave a little hope, too, with this tweet:
NHL conference call tomorrow with the teams, NHLPA will canvas its executive committee.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 12, 2020
Hey, I don’t want the season suspended any more than any of you. In fact, I really don’t want the season suspended.
I’ll for sure lose some freelance income, and now I have to populate a website devoted exclusively to Colorado Avalanche hockey, with no Colorado Avalanche hockey games to write about.
I personally believe this is being overhyped, but that’s my own cynicism about the media and how we are told things in the media by people with some kind of financial bias at stake. The media wants to hype this as much as it can, IMO, because their potential payout is: EVERYBODY SITTING ON THEIR COUCH UNDER QUARANTINE FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS WITH NOTHING TO DO BUT WATCH TV ALL DAY.
Some of the medical experts on TV say as much interesting stuff as they can get away with, IMO, because getting people afraid, of being sick all the time, is probably good for their office check-up bookings and bookings for future TV expert consultant deals and TV PAYS REALLY WELL.
I don’t know, I just feel like, “Didn’t this whole thing just escalate a little too fast here?” Didn’t this thing go a little too fast from ‘Hey yeah, that coronavirus thing I don’t have but have heard about” to “MY GOD, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE! TAKE SHELTER NOW!”
I have no idea on anything medical, of course. I’m just another pawn here.
What this means for the Avalanche or any other team? No idea. Kind of unchartered territory here. We’ve seen lockouts and long periods of inactivity in NHL seasons before, but we’ve never had a season suspended after getting started, and certainly not this late into a season.
Hey, the Avs are all beat up and a suspended season might be, ahem, just what the doctor ordered for their Stanley Cup hopes. They all come back healthy and rested and ready to go, and run the table in the playoffs!
On the other hand: Now they drift apart as a team, guys get out of shape, they lose their mental edge when the season comes back online – if it does at all this year. Other teams got to get rested up too. This is a bad thing for a team that looked like it might have a good chance to peak at the right time.
This sucks. This is no fun, and it’s also pretty damn scary if you let your mind wander too much and/or read some of the more alarmist stuff out there.
As subscribers to this site…hey, most of you already paid for a year in advance, so the money was already spent anyway right :). For you monthly subscribers, I won’t blame you if you take a powder on that until hockey’s back, but if not, I’ll keep the site as entertaining and informative as I can.
I have no doubt hockey will be back. I guess we just don’t know exactly when yet.