t’s been quite some time since hockey night in Canada has been available to provide entertainment on television thanks to the coronavirus; in fact, many feared live sports wouldn’t be a thing for the indefinite future. Well folks, hockey night is back in Canada, but it’s a little different this time around. But hey, at least we can finally say the words “It’s game day” again!
A day in the life in the Bubble
With extreme caution being taken related to Covid-19, all 24 NHL teams arrived in central hubs, Edmonton and Toronto last Sunday. Teams have been acclimating to the new reality of living in a bubble. Aside from flying with a mask on, the player’s quarantine consists of daily covid-19 tests and absolutely no interactions with the public, family included. Many were somewhat skeptical of the whole process and how it was going to work in terms of safety.
Montreal forward and player representative Paul Byron said. ”It didn’t seem like they had much time, much notice. … I’m actually pleasantly surprised coming to the hotel. It seems like they’ve got a pretty good setup for us.”
The setup consists of Canadian staple, free Tim Hortons coffee, several restaurants to choose from and private transportation from the hotel to the rink. All in all, it’s pretty normal, all things considered.
And for the fans…
Yep, living and playing in a bubble means that there’s no audience to cheer on the teams. Independent media are also excluded from the bubble, so most of what is seen comes directly from social media.
The good news
As strange as it is for Canadian hockey teams to adapt to a new sports world, there have been zero positive coronavirus test results as of last week. Existence from the public is scheduled to last until the Stanley Cup is awarded in the fall.