Bettman Says Lack Of Positive Tests Reaffirms League's Plans
The NHL has not had any positive COVID-19 cases since players entered the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton on July 26, something Commissioner Gary Bettman said reiterates the league's feeling that all league personnel would be in a “pretty controlled environment ... once we got everybody into the bubble.” Bettman noted the league chose two cities “where COVID-19 was at a relatively low point” to conduct the reminder of the season. He added the league also “wanted to go to places where we knew there would be enough testing available, where we wouldn't interfere with any of the medical needs.” The league administered more than 7,000 tests between July 27-Aug. 1 -- daily tests for players and each team's 52-member party -- and the costs are all coming from the league itself. Bettman said, “We're using commercial establishments, but we didn't want to be in a position where were in a place where there was a lot of COVID-19 and there was a concern over how much tests would be available because we’re testing the players and our other personnel every day.”
TIMING ISN'T EVERYTHING: Bettman also reiterated that the NHL is “planning on playing a normal season” for the '20-21 campaign, though it will not adhere to a typical calendar. He said, “We've learned over the last four months that, perhaps with things that are going on in the world, you have to be a little bit flexible on the timing, and we will be.” He added, “The exact timing doesn't matter as much as getting it right” ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 8/3).