Between trying to come up with a bubble situation that works, and the utterly disgraceful attempt by the league and its owners to renegotiate a deal they just made a few months earlier, the NHL certainly have their hands full trying to prepare for the 2021 season. So I suppose we shouldn’t at all be surprised to see this:
The NHL is soft floating the idea with media if no deal with the NHLPA is reached on the Return to Play, it can unilaterally invoke Force Majeure and cancel the 2020-21 season. 1/— Allan Walsh (@walsha) December 2, 2020
It’s incredible that after working with the NHLPA to get a deal done before resuming the 2019-20 season, that the owners are trying to get the players to once again give up more in escrow and deferments. This tweet came out a week ago, and there doesn’t appear to have been any movement since, either:
Hearing that NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman haven't spoken since last Thursday. Which speaks to how the players feel regarding the NHL's salary deferral/escrow asks. Still time to salvage this, however. I think next week is important.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 25, 2020
At the end of the day, the league and their owners need to stop bargaining in bad faith, and honour the deal that they made with the players less than 6 months ago. I wouldn’t blame the players for balking at this betrayal, and feel it’s more likely that the season is either delayed or is cancelled, than seeing things get underway in January.
Over in Finland, the country’s top league is putting their season on pause as of tomorrow to try and get some kind of control over the effects of COVID-19:
Jääkiekon SM-liiga Oy:n hallitus on päättänyt asettaa runkosarjan tauolle 3.12.–19.12.2020 väliseksi ajaksi vallitsevan koronavirustilanteen vuoksi. Ottelut siirtyvät myöhempään ajankohtaan.— Liiga (@smliiga) December 2, 2020
Lue lisää https://t.co/I0JKPGDBCy#Liiga pic.twitter.com/R18R3Y3sGb
From the Liiga website:
“The coronavirus situation in Finland has deteriorated in recent weeks. Regional authorities have imposed stricter restrictions this week to prevent the virus from spreading. Due to the given audience restrictions, the Board of the Hockey Championship Oy today decided to pause the series for the period from December 3 to December 19, 2020.
“We have done a lot of work during the autumn to ensure the safety of the public, players and employees at match events, and we did well in that work. Now, however, the viral situation has changed for the worse in several areas, so the limitations are understandable. However, it is not financially possible for us to play without the audience, comments Heikki Hiltunen, Chairman of the Board of the League
“We believe that the disease situation will be brought under control quickly with these measures and we will be able to continue the regular series. The intention is to continue to play the full regular season, he continues
All matches marked for play in the above period will be postponed. The league and teams will announce new match dates for the postponed matches later. If the current restrictions are lifted earlier or continued, the League will notify you of the possible consequences immediately.”
With the World Jr Championships coming up over the holidays later this month, Canucks fans will be able to get a look at 2020 draft pick Viktor Persson, who’s been selected for the Swedish team:
#Canucks draft pick Viktor Persson has been selected for the Swedish World Junior team tryout camp.— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) December 1, 2020
Persson will play for the Kamloops Blazers this season.
In case you missed it, Elias Pettersson, Alexander Edler, Zack MacEwan and some other current and former Canucks flew up to play a little shinny on a glacier recently and the pics are unbelievable: