(ATR) The National Hockey League successfully completed two months of playoffs – in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton entirely devoid of spectators – awarding the Stanley Cup to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 28.
Sochi 2014 was the last Olympics to feature NHL players. (ATR)
Having conducted more than 33,000 Covid-19 tests in the two bubble locations – without any positive results – the NHL model is one that the IOC and other sporting organizers can learn from.
“Amazing job that they pulled it off,” NHL journalist Rob Simpson tells ATR
’s Brian Pinelli in the latest video edition of ATRadio. “Not something I want to see again, I don’t think anyone wants to see it again and hopefully they don’t have to do it again."
With the 2019-20 season finally in the books, it seems likely that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and league owners will now shift course to discussions with the IOC about sending its players to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.
“Gary Bettman will not take a bad deal, ultimately he’s agreed to this and that’s exciting and the players are all jacked up, but there are still negotiations that have to unfold,” Simpson says.
“They’ve had games in China – as we know it’s a gigantic population, hockey is growing and it’s all about dollars and cents for Bettman and the owners, so that creates a great opportunity for them.
“I think this is something that is very doable,” he said. “I think they’ll pull it off.”
Homepage photo: ATR