Multiple players and staff members around the NHL have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past week, but there's been no word on how this will affect the season return... if at all.
The NHL has yet to name its two hub cities, though Las Vegas and a Canadian city are said to be frontrunners to host teams. Despite the league making progress on hub city decisions, it appears players aren't too keen on returning to the ice.
A veteran in the Western Conference told The Athletic, according to ESPN, that "guys are not happy. This is why we better have a full player vote and not just an executive board vote. But I'm not convinced (NHLPA executive director) Don (Fehr) is going to allow that because he knows there's so many of us on the fence. That's why I think the league was trying to be hush-hush on these positive tests. In my opinion, no way we play."
Similarly, one veteran Eastern Conference player told ESPN that he believes the NHLPA is "50-50 on wanting to come back to play, because of the safety precautions, travel and logistics. Especially now with these cases rising, it seems more guys with families are skeptical."
Some players already have returned to training facilities for voluntary workouts to ramp up for the season resume, but others remain quarantined in wherever they call home during the offseason.
Full training camps are supposed to begin on July 10 with Phase 3, though no agreement has been made between the NHL and NHLPA on Phases 3 and 4 of the return-to-play-plan.
The NHL isn't the only league in the United States having issues returning to play, either. NBA players are weighing the pros and cons of resuming the basketball season at Walt Disney World, and Major League Baseball and the Players Association can't come to an agreement on beginning their season amid the pandemic.
While it once seemed like all sports would be back in action this summer, things now seem to be bleak. However, there's always light at the end of the tunnel, and considering the coronavirus pandemic is a very fluid situation, there's always a chance we get sports back.