The State of the Game: Hockey


Photo from Peter Diana of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Will Schuit, Sports Analyst

During this COVID-19 quarantine, hockey, among other professional sports, was hit hard. The NHL was just months out from the playoffs and Stanley Cup finals. 

Many fans hope to see continued play as soon as it is deemed safe. The only problem with this is–will players be in shape? Although it seems like only two minutes on the ice at a time requires only a short burst of energy, hockey requires great physical fitness. For me personally, hockey was the sport for me that caused me the most fatigue. Obviously, the best way to get in shape for hockey is to skate, but even practices have been cancelled. If these players went right into the remainder and most important part of the season without the proper conditioning, it could result in injury for many players. 

With the draft date set for June 26th, the idea of reopening the 2019-2020 season creates a conflict of interest for management. Do they focus on the season at hand or pour their energy and attention into the draft? If the season starts back up again and there is no cancellation, there would have to be a postponement of the draft. With the draft not far away it would make more sense to cancel the season as a whole and start fresh with the next season. The issue with some teams and fanbases is that their team was looking like a favorite to make a run in the postseason. Additionally, many teams have players who could be considered the “glue” of the team, but their short contracts will end before the start of the new season. Having to make decisions about getting rid of or keeping these players can and will affect the ability of the team.