NHL wants Canada border answer by June 1


The NHL has told the Canadian government that it needs an answer on the Stanley Cup playoffs’ coronavirus-related border travel issue by June 1.

“The conversations are ongoing. We’ve told them we really do need to know by the end of the first round, and that’s around June 1. That’s pretty much the date that we’ve talked to them about, saying we have to know one way or another,” Steve Mayer, NHL chief content officer, told ESPN on Friday.

The first two rounds of the playoffs are played within each of the four realigned divisions created for the 2020-21 season, including the all-Canadian North Division. But in the third round, the final four teams play each other. Currently, U.S. teams would be prohibited from playing in Canada without mandatory quarantines that would be impossible within the postseason calendar. The lone Canadian team remaining would either travel back and forth across the border against a U.S. opponent in the semifinals or, instead of playing its home games in Canada, would be housed in a U.S.-based arena for the semifinals (and the finals, if it advances).

EDITOR’S PICKS

NHL: No conference championship trophies in ’21

Lapsed fan’s guide to the NHL playoffs: Everything you might have missed

2021 NHL playoff series previews: First-round matchups, picks
The last conversation between the NHL and the Canadian government was last Friday, when government officials gave the NHL a list of questions to be answered before the next session.

Mayer said the NHL has had talks with a couple of U.S.-based NHL arenas about housing a Canadian team. Those arenas are home to non-playoff teams. Fans are not currently permitted at home games for Canadian teams, while every U.S. team has been allowed to have fans at a limited capacity in its arena. In theory, the Canadian teams would have fans at home games played at neutral site U.S. arenas.

The end of the first round also might make for easier negotiations with the Canadian government. The North Division playoff field covers four provinces — Edmonton (Alberta) is playing Winnipeg (Manitoba), and Toronto (Ontario) faces Montreal (Quebec). “Pretty soon it’s going to be two. So if there’s someone on the fence and that province goes away, it might be easier,” Mayer said.

The NHL has felt that it could get a travel dispensation from the Canadian government based on how stringent its COVID protocols have been this season, and as more players and team staffers get vaccinated. To encourage the latter, the NHL announced this month that COVID restrictions would be eased for U.S. teams once 85% of a traveling party is fully vaccinated. That would mean looser social distancing guidelines within team settings and not having to undergo PCR testing on off-days.

Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital who has consulted with the NHLPA, told ESPN last month that the issue is one not of “public health” or “player safety” but of “optics” for the Canadian government.

“These American teams have exquisite amounts of resources at their disposal: flying on private jets, safety protocols in place for teams,” he said. “This does not pose a risk to the general public, let’s be clear here. This does not pose a risk to the players or the ancillary personnel involved. This would be an ethics and optics issue.”

Mayer said the NHL would ease concerns with “a level of bubbling we’ll just have to promise” if the teams are permitted to travel to and from Canada. While the guidelines likely wouldn’t reach the lockdown measures of the 2020 NHL postseason bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, they would separate both teams from the general public.

An NHL source told ESPN this week that the league expects “a positive resolution” to the border issue before the third round of the playoffs, which is something Mayer echoed.

“We’re pretty confident. The conversations have been good ones with them. We’re not there yet, but they haven’t said no,” he said.

Got a story or tip for us? Email Sports Gossip editors at tips@sportsgossip.com 

Want More From Sports Gossip? 

For all the latest breaking Sports Gossip, be sure to follow SportsGossip.com on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

You can view the original article HERE.



A Magnificent Remake of the Classic Musical
House of Gucci Could Get Hit With Legal Action From Gucci Heirs
Listening to Kenny G movie review (2021)
Michael J. Fox Only Now Understands Why Back To The Future Is Still Loved
Carlos Santana cancels Vegas residency following health scare
Marvin Humes found it tough getting in shape for JLS reunion tour – Music News
Early Release: Madilyn Bailey Sings a Song Made of Hate Comments – America's Got Talent 2021
Watch Dave Grohl and daughter Violet cover Amy Winehouse’s ‘Take The Box’
A Christmas Dance Reunion Review: Coleman & Bleu Bring the Nostalgia, Charm, & Sizzling Chemistry!
Top 20 Most Expensive TV Shows Ever Made
Cobra Kai Season 4 Poster Arrives Ahead of New Year’s Eve Premiere
Walker Season 2 Episode 5 Review: Partners and Third Wheels
New Seahawk Peterson playing for ‘love of game’
Most Popular Sports In Hungary
How Sports Betting Works With Computer Picks
Cannabis Consumption Methods for Athletes
Dr. Oz Ripped by Senate Race Opponent, I Will ‘Demolish’ Him
Dream Doll Reveals An Important Day For Her
Miss Kentucky Elle Smith has been crowned the winner of Miss USA 2021
Insecure: Molly and Taurean’s Relationship in Season 5
Celine’s Spring Summer ’22 Collection Sparkles & Shines In Nice
The Best Clothes to Wear During the Holiday Season
Editor’s Pick: Elastique Lymphatic Drainage Leggings
Best Black Friday Deals on Women’s Boots 2021