Will the Pittsburgh Penguins season actually begin on Jan. 13? It seems an impossibility because players haven’t reported. So, while the date has been reported nearly everywhere, it doesn’t jibe with reality on Saturday, December 12.
On Friday, I checked my Instagram feed to see how many folks liked the picture of my two-year-old grandson smirking in front of a Christmas tree. Sure, I was curious. I posted the picture weeks ago but rarely check Instagram. In my new “stories” was Evgeni Malkin windsurfing with his son, clearly not in Pittsburgh.
Malkin isn’t doing anything wrong (and the photo may be weeks old, too). Please don’t mistake that for criticism. Malkin’s and his wife’s Instagram posts show that many players and families are not yet in their NHL city.
In many places, the boys will have to quarantine for 14 days before beginning training camp. Do the math. The floated proposal was for non-playoff teams to begin training camp on Dec. 29, which means teams like the Ottawa Senators would need a full boat in Ottawa and locked up by Dec. 14.
That’s in 48 hours, depending on when you read this.
Until there’s an agreement, players are under no obligation. And, given the terse start to negotiations, one should be forgiven for waiting until the ink is on the paper to report.
Worse, each city has its own rules and regulations. For example, our friends in San Jose may become a homeless hockey team as the northern California counties reject contact sports.
Don’t get me started on the ruling-class hypocrisy of northern California. Anyhoo…
Passports, travel, airport snafus (see also, Emil Larmi), settling into one’s residence again, and getting ready for camp will take at least one week. So, let’s assume we’re at least three weeks away from the beginning of camp, which puts the earliest possible date at Jan. 3 if the order to return was given NOW.
So, each additional day forward will add a day to Jan. 13 and the start of the NHL season.
Also, are the Pittsburgh Penguins or Philadelphia Flyers even allowed to skate? According to new edicts, “all in-person businesses in the entertainment industry serving the public within a building or indoor defined space are prohibited.”
Also on Instagram, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin posted a poignant video from Boston restaurant owners. The website is WheresThePlan.org.
The same is happening in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania. They are honest questions. Who will pay their rent? Pay their employees? Even pay for the restauranteurs’ mortgage or rent?
Where’s the plan? Indeed a strong question. Here’s the video which Dumoulin posted:
Just in case you were wondering who Auston Matthews was hanging out with.
That’s Justin Beiber, Dad.
Based on the caption, it sounds looks like P-O Joseph is on his way back to Pittsburgh.
And, Jason Zucker and his family are helping a good cause: