Saturday, May 21, 2022

    Strict Canadian rules complicate the NHL push through epidemics

    Sixteen months after choosing Canada as the safest place to end its season, the NHL now faces a number of obstacles north of the border that complicate its bid to return to power through an epidemic.

    According to new guidelines from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the NFL and NBA may adopt a period of rapid isolation for those who test for coronavirus positive, and both leagues may consider not testing asymptomatic, vaccinated players.

    The NHL, including the seven parties north of the border, must balance the strict COVID-19 regulations set by the Canadian federal and provincial authorities.

    We’ve always had different rules in different jurisdictions, so this is not a new challenge, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told the Associated Press in an email on Tuesday, hours after the game resumed after an extended holiday break. (We) are navigating in the water as fast as we can. “

    The CDC’s recommendation to reduce quarantine time to 10 to five days prompted an NHL review of its virus protocols. But there is little evidence that Canada is ready to move toward a relaxed rule, as the United States has done, as the provinces push for congestion and impose additional restrictions.

    This is not in the minds of the state or the population, and especially not in the minds of health workers, said Gilles Levasure, a professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in US-Canada relations. At the moment it’s even more, let’s protect, secure and close and do another captive. It does not have the mentality to say that it is our part, those of us who are part of it and let us live with it.

    This approach in the United States, even in other sports leagues, is causing some frustration among hockey players who want to see the NHL relax some protocols, especially for those with Covid-19 symptoms, the mandatory absence is reduced to 10 days.

    It always seems like Canada doesn’t cause a lot of things to happen, so I don’t know if it will be able to do that, said Alex Kilorn, a Tampa Bay Lightning Forward and representative of the NHL Players Association. But it seems reasonable to say that we will do it and implement it as soon as possible. “

    Fellow Steven Stamcos said Monday it was a fine line, while acknowledging that there was talk of less testing around NHL locker rooms. Veteran executive Lu Lamorillo said Sunday that the league and the union are trying their best not to be able to control Canadian federal and provincial rules.

    If we don’t play in Canada and we don’t have a team in Canada, you can consider (not testing asymptomatic vaccinated players) and of course it will (be considered), says the general manager of New York Island. But with Canadian guidelines and rules, that can’t happen. We will not be able to keep the games without the tests required to play in Canada.

    The American Hockey League, with 26 teams in the United States and five in Canada, is wrestling with the same issue. Although the NHL has suspended 70 games, the AHL is at 61 and is trying to play as much as possible without major disruption.

    It comes with the recognition that it is more difficult for Canadian teams to avoid a long absence.

    “You’re always under the control of Canadian governments and you respect that, and our Canadian teams know that,” Scott Housson, president and CEO of AHL, told the AP on Tuesday. Our protocols are always subject to what the Canadian government says, so if we do something that is less restrictive, the Canadian government is clearly saying, well, you have to do it, then the Canadian parties have to do it. “

    One option is the need for different testing and isolation requirements for the United States and Canada.

    Both sides have arguments, Housson said. “You want a level playing field, but for us, the 26 teams that may have less restricted arrangements, why should they be punished?”

    The NHL is testing players, coaches and staff daily until January 7 as part of the enhanced virus protocol, which includes restrictions on masked-backs and street teams. Taxi squads are back to try to continue the season until the All-Star break.

    In the case of Canada, which follows the US strategy of living with the virus, Levasure does not expect that change for at least another two weeks as health officials monitor cases and hospital admissions.

    “If there is no disaster in the hospitals, you will have that second mentality,” he said. , Going to see that pattern of captivity and restrictions.


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