The NHL two-city bubble trial has worked out after the season, with no COVID-19 cases during the Stanley Cup qualifiers until this point.
But with the league looking forward to 2021 and how what it hopes will be a big regular season featuring every club, NHL intends to study the success and struggles of another North American league that has just resumed: the NFL.
“They think it can help a lot,” Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston said during the headlines clip from Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. “Really, the NHL feels they have some time here to weigh their options and with NFL starting this week, I think it could be very helpful because the NFL starts its season with a limited number of fans in some buildings.”
There are three areas in particular where the NHL looks to learn from NFL: What is the healthy experience for NFL players; How does the league manage to deal with positive cases, if they arise, and what are the circumstances surrounding these cases; And how the presence of fans in the stands unfolds – what needs to be done to accommodate this, how it works in practice and what are the fan reactions.
“I think the NHL feels it is in a beneficial position because there are still tons of uncertainty about what 2020-2021 will look like,” Johnston added. “But these other tournaments will go ahead.”
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