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Dan’s Daily: Vegas Owner Expects Season Delay; Further COVID Updates



NHL season

Well, this sucks but there is more truth to it than you and I would like to admit. The world is not close to overcoming the coronavirus. As second waves begin to sweep Europe and are beginning again in New York, borders remain closed and our lives remain on hold. Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley will probably get in trouble for his comments to a local radio station about the next NHL season, but he’s probably not wrong. And we have some NHL free agency news, too.

Hockey Links:

The Top 15 RFAs, NHL rumors, and reports (Sportsnet)

We polled a few NHL scouts and hockey professionals. What do they think of Chad Ruhwedel in the Pittsburgh Penguins top-6? (PHN+)

Just 24 hours after Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said contract talks were off with Brendan Gallagher, the two sides got back to the table and quickly hammered out a deal. A pretty slick negotiating tactic by Bergevin (Montreal Gazette)

NHL 2020-21 Season Fears

The current target for the 2020-21 NHL season to begin is Jan 1. The initial target was Dec. 1 but was recently pushed back.

Remember the optimism that a vaccine would soon be released in November? Johnson and Johnson and Eli Lily have suspended their vaccine trials.

“If we’re not playing to the fans, I don’t know if a lot of teams can make it,” Foley said. “Including us, it’s going to be very difficult. You’ll have to make a serious financial commitment to fund the team if we’re not playing in front of fans. I do not believe Gary Bettman is going to have us fly all around and play in front of empty arenas. There’s going to be another plan.”

Quote from J.J. Regan, NBC Washington, who transcribed the Foley interview.

The Athletic, TSN, and PHN have reported many teams are adopting internal salary caps because of lost revenues due to the Coronavirus. Another shortened or lost season will only exacerbate those matters in the future.

Foley also noted that NBC owns the Olympic broadcast rights, and the games begin next July. So, any NHL playoffs would have to conclude before the Olympics, which leaves the NHL time for only a shortened season.

“They have to finish the playoffs by the end of June because the Olympics are in July and NBC has the Olympics,” Foley said. “So we’ve got to be done with our season and all the playoffs sometime around¬†the end of June.”

COVID-19 Update:

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’m a devout mask wearer and I despise when people walk past me with chin diapers, masks around their neck, or well beneath their nose. I’ve politely said something to a few people who have invaded my space.

Yet I also worry we’ll not have a vaccine any time soon, and that Herd Immunity may be the only way through this.

You don’t have to agree with me. Heck, not even scientists agree on the best path forward, but I’ll always protect the people around me until we officially adopt a credible alternative. Fair?

According to the World Meter, Europe is experiencing an extraordinary spike in new cases. The U.K. and France have more than doubled the number of new cases than they had at the peak in March, but their deaths are 10 times lower than the March peak (World Meter)

Sweden, which opted for the Herd Immunity approach, is also experiencing a spike in new cases but has a minuscule fatality rate (World Meter)

That’s good news, kind of, right?

Lost amongst the public debate over Twitter and Facebook censorship was a bombshell from the New York Times on a potential shift in U.S. policy towards Herd Immunity.

From the New York Times, the White House “embraces Herd Immunity declaration”: (NYT)

Dr. Fauci predicts a vaccine by April (NY Post)

The New York Times Vaccine Tracker. There are 11 vaccines currently in Phase 3, so there is hope (NYT)

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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