Report: CHL teams getting medical protocols . . . Liability huge factor in college football decisions . . . SJHL bumps openers back

Turnsignals


Rick Westhead of TSN posted a series of seven tweets on Tuesday afternoon, all of them relating to major junior hockey. Here they are, in text form and separated by dashes . . .

Major junior hockey teams are beginning to receive details of medical protocols for 2020-21 season. (If it happens.)

Some curious terms.

Players coming into Canada must quarantine for 14 days in billet home.

(What’s the point if a player’s billet family isn’t quarantining?)

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Players, team staff will have daily temperature tests upon arrival at rink.  If temp is over 38 degrees, Covid test will be required.

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After games, meetings with people external to the team must be scheduled in accordance with public health regulations. Visits with family will require social distancing.

(Consequences for breaching this rule are not detailed.)

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Body checking, fighting during games are not banned. This will allow players to develop and aspire to pro hockey in addition to offering “a quality show.”

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Teams are being discouraged from eating in restaurants and in case of buffet meals, a person must be designated to serve the food. Teams must be given a private room, or else take food to individual rooms.

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Carpooling allowed. Players/staff must wear masks and there is a limit of 4 people/car. No consuming food/drinks in the vehicles.

On team buses, players and coaches are to receive assigned seats. These must remain same through season & masks on board the buses are mandatory.

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Caveat: There are 3 different major junior leagues in jurisdictions w different levels of Covid infection & the 3 may have different rules.

Also important to note it’s August.

I’d expect these medical protocols will be amended many times by time teams hope to have players report.


I find it interesting that no one in major junior hockey has mentioned the issue of liability, although you have to think there has been discussion on that subject behind closed doors or on Zoom calls or however the pooh-bahs are meeting these days.

ESPN has reported that myocarditis appears to be one of the potential after-effects of COVID-19 and that it is turning up in young, previous healthy athletes.

Two of the NCAA’s five major football conferences postponed their fall seasons on Tuesday and it’s apparent that liability concerns played a major role in the decisions.

The Big Ten and the Pac-12 — two of the Power Five conferences — cancelled their fall athletic seasons, including football.

The ACC, Big 12 and SEC say they are still planning on holding fall football seasons. At least, that was the word as of Tuesday afternoon.

After the Pac-12 decision was announced, Michael Schill, the U of Oregon’s president, told a webinar that “we are science-based, we’re academics. We look at facts, not opinions.”

Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach of ESPN reported on Monday that “myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, has been found in at least five Big Ten Conference athletes and among several other athletes in other conferences, according to two sources with knowledge of athletes’ medical care.

“The condition is usually caused by a viral infection, including those that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza or mononucleosis. Left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause heart damage and sudden cardiac arrest, which can be fatal. It is a rare condition, but the COVID-19 virus has been linked with myocarditis with a higher frequency than other viruses, based on limited studies and anecdotal evidence since the start of the pandemic.”

On Tuesday, DeArbea Walker of Deadspin wrote:

“If myocarditis is left undiagnosed or untreated it can lead to cardiac arrest. Heart issues connected to coronavirus have turned up in at least 50 percent of all cases in the U.S. and in 80 percent of hospitalized patients. Twenty-seven year-old Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez was shut down last week after testing positive for COVID-19 and receiving a myocarditis diagnosis that has pushed his MLB future into question.”

The decisions to postpone football seasons are likely to have huge impacts on campuses across the U.S. It is hard to imagine how much money this will cost schools, but football programs at a lot of these places fund so many other sports.

Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that there are other sports than football getting hurt,“but it is mostly focused on football, because football is the revenue driver. The donor magnate, the alpha sport. The financial ramifications of one year without football are going to be enormous.”

On Monday, the Mountain West Conference postponed all fall sports including football. It, too, is considering a spring football season. The conference had announced just eight days earlier that its football teams would play an eight-game schedule starting on Sept. 26.\

Earlier this month, the Mid-American Conference cancelled its fall football season. It was the first FBS conference to pull the plug.


Parrot


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

When the Big Ten announced the postponement of fall sports on Tuesday, its news release didn’t mention hockey. . . . Later in the day, Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) tweeted that the U of Michigan had “suspended practices for all sports, including hockey.” . . . No NCAA schools have made a decision on their hockey season, with some observers feeling that is five or six weeks away. . . .

Anthony Lynn, the head coach of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, has said that he tested positive. Lynn made the revelation on the HBO show Hard Knocks. Lynn, who indicated that he had symptoms, didn’t say when he tested positive, but he has recovered. . . .

Trini Lopez, who took If I Had a Hammer to the top of the charts in 1963, died from COVID-19 on Tuesday. He was 83. . . . Lopez also was in the movie The Dirty Dozen. . . . Rolling Stone has more right here. . . .

Curling’s 2020 Canada Cup has been postponed indefinitely. It was to have been held in Fredericton, Nov. 24-29. Curling Canada hopes to hold it early in 2021 as it is a qualifier for the 2021 Roar of the Rings Olympics trials. . . . At the same time, Curling Canada has cancelled the Canadian Mixed, which was set for Canmore, Alta., Nov. 7-15, and the Canadian Curling Club Championships (Ottawa, Nov. 22-28).


The Alberta-based Heritage Junior B Hockey League is hoping to start its 24-game season on Oct. 28. It includes teams in Airdrie, Olds, Ponoka, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler and Sylvan Lake in the Northern Division, with a Southern Division comprising teams in Coaldale, Cochrane, High River, Lomond, Medicine Hat, Okotoks, Standoff and Strathmore. . . .

There were reports Tuesday afternoon that the SJHL has pushed back its opening date. It had said that it hoped to open on Sept. 25. . . . Clark Stork, the play-by-play voice of the Nipawin Hawks, tweeted that the league had sent an email to teams “saying the start date of the season has been pushed back by two weeks.” . . . That would take it to Oct. 9.


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Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

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Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604.875.5182 or 1.855.875.5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


The SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds have promoted Brett Pilkington from assistant coach to Houndsgeneral manager and head coach. He takes over from Phil Roy, who has moved on to the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes as an assistant coach. . . . Pilkington, 36, is from Calgary. He was a second-round selection by the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL’s 1999 bantam draft, but chose to go the NCAA route and played four seasons at Bowling Green. . . . Last season was his first with the Hounds. . . . Roy, who is from St. Leonard, Que., spent two seasons with the Hounds.



Ralph Klassen, who played five seasons (1970-75) with the Saskatoon Blades, died on Aug. 3 after a battle with cancer. He was 64. . . . Klassen, a rugged two-way player from Humboldt, put up 275 points, including 194 assists, in 300 regular-season games with Saskatoon. He added 45 points, 11 of them goals, in 50 playoff games. . . . He won silver with Canada’s national junior team in 1975. . . . The California Golden Seals selected him with the third pick of the NHL’s 1975 draft. He went on to score 52 goals and add 93 assists in 497 regular-season games, split among the Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockets and St. Louis Blues. He retired in November 1983. . . . There is a complete obituary right here.


Ship

Reports have major junior leagues now aiming for Dec. 1 . . . Former Blades captain dies . . . Morden team changing nickname, logo

If you own a junior hockey franchise, you have to be watching the goings-on in MLB and wondering.

While the NBA and NHL have their teams all bubbled up and, at least to date, avoiding the coronavirus, you know that you don’t have the resources to attempt anything like that.

But then you look at MLB, which is attempting to do what you are hoping to do at some point this year — bring your team together and then travel in order to play games in various venues.

It isn’t going all that well for MLB, which is forging ahead despite having had two teams — the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals — decimated by the virus and another (Philadelphia Phillies) also been hit.

Through Tuesday, 23 MLB games involving nine teams had been postponed. The season is 13 days old.

At this point, then, you likely are holding your breath and hoping.

Earlier, the QMJHL and WHL had announced proposed starting dates of Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, respectively, for their 2020-21 regular seasons. The OHL hadn’t gone public with any such date.

Now there are reports that the three major junior leagues will announce perhaps as soon as today (Wednesday) that they hope to start their 2020-21 regular seasons on Dec. 1.

Postponing the start by two more months buys them some more time. The leagues will be able to sit back and watch developments, including the possible opening of schools.

The OHL and WHL also have teams located in the U.S., where, you may have noticed, things aren’t going so well. Two more months gives the leagues time to watch for improvements in that area, although under present leadership that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

And, of course, there’s the little matter of the U.S.-Canada border being closed. Do you think it’ll be open again in 2020?

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COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

On Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds placed 1B Joey Votto, a native of Toronto, on the injury list after he self-reported symptoms of the virus. On Monday, he hit a two-run, go-ahead homer to help the Reds beat the Cleveland Indians, 3-2. . . . It turns out that he tested negative and was reinstated. . . .

The much-ballyhooed Field of Dreams game, which was to have featured the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox on Aug. 13, has been postponed to August 2021. A date has yet to be announced. . . .

The Cardinals’ season is on hold after seven players and six staff members tested positive. . . . Six of the players are SS Paul DeJong, RHP Junior Fernández, C Yadier Molina, 1B Rangel Ravelo, SS Edmundo Sosa and RHP Kodi Whitley, each of whom gave the team the OK to release their names. The identity of a seventh player wasn’t released. . . . DeJong and Molina are all-star calibre players. . . . In a statement, Molina said he was “saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place.” . . .

Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, had some thoughts on the mess in which MLB finds itself. He concluded with this: “Baseball in 2020 reminds me of a guy at a poker table who is losing his shirt but keeps dipping into his bank account for another stake because he is ‘due for some good cards.’ It seems to me that MLB thinks it is due for some good news and just keeps on keeping on. . . . Albert Einstein reminded us that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different outcomes.” . . . You should read the entirety of the curmudgeonly one’s latest post right here.

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The NFL’s Detroit Lions moved QB Matthew Stafford from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and placed him on the regular roster, saying that what was reported as a positive test actually was a false-positive. . . . The Jacksonville Jaguars did the same with QB Gardner Minshew after it was determined that he had tested negative. Minshew joked that the virus “took one look at me and ran the other way.” . . .

At least 48 players have opted out of playing in the NFL’s 2020 season. The league has a deadline of Thursday afternoon for players to make that decision. . . . Barry Wilner of The Associated Press has more right here.

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Rafael Nadal, the No. 2-ranked men’s tennis player, won’t play in this month’s U.S. Open, which is to start on Aug. 31. He said that he doesn’t want to travel during the pandemic. . . . The last time a tennis major didn’t feature either Roger Federer, who is out after having knee surgery, and Nadal? That was the 1999 U.S. Open. . . .

Meanwhile, Bianca Andreescu, who won the women’s U.S. Open title last year, said that she will be in New York to defend her title. . . . Andreescu, 20, from Mississauga, Ont., is the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. . . .

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The 104th running of the Indy 500 will take place without fans. Roger Penske, who owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said earlier in the year that the race, which was postponed from Memorial Day weekend to Aug. 23, would allow some fans to attend. . . . But with numbers rising in Marion County, Indiana, home of the Speedway, Penske has decided not to allow fans. . . .

The AHL has cancelled its 2020-21 All-Star Classic that was to have been played host to by the Laval Rocket on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Instead, Laval will be the site of the 2021-22 Classic on a date yet to be determined. . . . The AHL is hoping to being its 2020-21 regular season on Dec. 4. . . .

Tennis lost the Madrid Open as the 2020 event, which features men’s and women’s draws, was cancelled. Originally scheduled in May, it had been postponed to September. But an increase in COVID-19 cases resulted in the event being cancelled.

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You will recall that the Houston Astros have been branded as cheaters after getting caught up in a sign-stealing scandal that has some baseball folks claiming the team actually stole a World Series title. . . . The other day, with the host Astros playing the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are particularly bitter, Houston’s Jose Altuve, who is really struggling at the plate, happened to strike out. Joe Davis, doing the play-by-play for the Dodgers, said Altuve was “perhaps guessing something else.” . . . Former Dodgers P Orel Hershiser, the analyst on the broadcast crew, disagreed. Said Hershiser: “Guessing’s harder than knowing.”



The QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes announced Tuesday that head coach Gordie Dwyer has left the organization in the hopes of landing a spot with a pro team. . . . Dwyer took over as head coach on Feb. 9, then went 6-6-0 before the league shut down because of the pandemic. . . . At the time, Dwyer took over from the fired Daniel Renaud, who had been the head coach since 2017. He was 23-28-0 last season. . . . The Cataractes will unveil their new coaching staff on Friday.


The Morden Redskins, a men’s team that plays in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League, has said that it will be changing its nickname and logo, which was fashioned after that belonging to the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. . . . Last month, Brandon Burley, the mayor of Morden, asked the team to make a change.


JUST NOTES: I haven’t watched a whole lot of the NHL since it resumed playing, but I’ve seen enough to realize that, despite what you might read in the rules book, cross-checking continues to be legal. . . . I need to find someone in Alberta to cut me in on the Edmonton Oilers’ 50-50 draw. If you aren’t aware, the winner of Monday’s draw put $1,629,722.50 into his/her bank account. On Saturday night, Danielle McGale won $381,275. Yes, she has a whole lot of new friends. . . . I was watching the MLB game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and host Minnesota Twins on Tuesday afternoon and there was a drone delay. Seriously.