There have been body temperature readings, uncomfortable nasal swabs, masks when appropriate and a lot of physical distance outside the rink on NHL.
The next step in the NHL’s plan to resume a destabilized season by COVID-19 got under way on Monday in a way that would have been unimaginable four months ago: by holding training camps at middle of July.
“With everything going on in the world, everyone has thought about it. In recent months, we have been trying to remain as optimistic as possible. And I think it’s everyone’s state of mind when faced with this situation. Hope everything works and that we can play.” Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews said.
Players know there is a possibility that the coronavirus will completely derail the stimulus before they enter the bubbles intended to keep the virus at bay. However, it was nice to focus on hockey for the first time in 123 days.
“There are a lot of strangers, but I kept myself ready. I always thought that something would happen and that we would end up playing. Today is an important step in this direction.” the Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid said.
Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano has expressed the view that it will seem odd to return to the game by immediately participating in the qualifying round.
“To be back on the ice with the guys, to be able to do exercises all over the ice, to work on our numerical advantage, on our numerical disadvantage, all this seemed normal, really important. Everyone is fresh and ready and it looks a bit like starting a training camp.” Giordano said.
Instead of playing a round of golf or having a family reunion behind a barbecue, teammates cheered each other on Monday with an eye turned to the ultimate goal: to lift the Stanley Cup.