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?)
Players, team staff will have daily temperature tests upon arrival at rink. If temp is over 38 degrees, Covid test will be required.
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.)
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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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The SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds have promoted Brett Pilkington from assistant coach to general 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.