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Dater’s Daily Links: Nobody has any idea if NHL season will resume

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Helpless. No control over anything. No idea what is going to happen. No, that’s not just me in the aftermath of asking my son to pick up his room. It’s everyone associated with the NHL right now, on the question of whether a season will resume or not.

No big scoop there. We’re still really only a little more than a month into a global pandemic in this country. It’s too soon to know anything, really. But in talking with a lot of people around the league in the past week, the overall feeling of helplessness over this whole thing, when it comes to their product, that is, is really starting to take root.

“Nobody knows anything,” one NHL management person told me. “Everything is just totally out of our hands.”

Right now it’s a given that, if the games resume this spring or summer, there won’t be any fans in the stands. Everybody hates that thought. Playoff hockey is all about the fans. It’s about that goose-bump-inspiring roar they make when their team takes to the ice. It’s about the hate for the other team, the constantly undulating emotions of how your team is doing. That’s just not going to be there without any people in the building.

I really believe that’s the most depressing thought of all for everyone. Nobody wants to play in empty buildings. That’s not hockey (well, if you’re the Florida Panthers, I guess it’d be business as usual – hey, I get one cheapshot joke per year).

Some links:

  • Manchester, N.H., remains in the mix as a potential city to host games in a no-fan, neutral-site scenario to continue to the NHL season (Manchester Union Leader)
  • Joe Sakic spent some Zoom time with the Altitude crew yesterday (Avalanche.com)
  • Scenarios involving the draft lottery should the season be canceled outright (Hockey News)
  • This guy is almost certain to go first in the 2023 NHL draft (Hockey News)
  • In his appearance on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast, Brian Burke was asked who had the best pre-draft interview in his years as a hockey executive. His answer? Gabe Landeskog (Spittin’ Chiclets).
  • Dustin Byfuglien will be an unrestricted free agent when next season starts. Could the Avs put in a bid? I doubt it. Too old, too many other good prospects on the way. (Toronto Sun)
  • Larry Brooks has some interesting speculation about how the playoffs might play out, and where (NY Post)

THREE MOVIES I’VE REWATCHED DURING THE QUARANTINE:

  • Shawshank Redemption – Geez, I even got all choked up at the end again, despite having seen it about 40 times.
  • There Will Be Blood – Amazing story, Daniel Day-Lewis is unbelievable.
  • Beyond the Mat – Great wrestling documentary.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Ricardo
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Ricardo

Thanks for keeping in touch. You are correct–hockey without fans present is not hockey. As for me I am ready to take my life and country back in a relatively safe and logical manner.

GWood
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GWood

Thanks for the updates. So that ‘There will be Blood’ flix. Daniel Day Lewis is a monster actor. That was an all time performance for an all time character. Smart, sophisticated, gentlemanly, clever, but cunning, spiteful and scary violent AF. Great movie, good call AD.

B
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B

My dog is so happy that hockey is on hold. She’s not a fan of yelling.

dp10
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dp10

I think the salary cap coupled with the NHL‘s experience of previous lockouts will prove beneficial in overcoming the financial repercussions from this forced stoppage and potentially empty stands. The NYPost article already suggests that there is more or less a roadmap out there for how to deal with that. Compare that to other sports leagues, especially the much more complex situation with soccer in Europe for example and I think it’s fair to say that the NHL will do alright!

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