When Is Hockey Back? [Updated!]

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Hockey season is here, which for Toronto means cold weather and lots of ice time for the Maple Leafs and their fans. With the World Cup of Hockey right around the corner, fans of all the participating teams are anxiously waiting for their squads to return from the break. Although the games have not been played yet, we are already seeing fans take to social media to express their excitement.

Whether you’re a hockey enthusiast or just enjoy the sport as a pastime, there are a variety of ways to enjoy the upcoming season despite the pandemic. If you’re looking to get back in the game, here are some suggestions on how to do so safely.

Sign Up For Updates

The NHL and the NHLPA have been providing updates online regarding the status of the pandemic and the future of the season, and they continue to do so on a regular basis. There is no reason to rush back to play just to have your games be cancelled because someone doesn’t feel safe attending a sporting event. The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus is constantly shifting, and therefore, players’ and fans’ daily lives are subject to change as well.

You can sign up for regular updates from the NHL here, and you can find the same information from the NHLPA here. If you are planning on attending a game this season, you should consider following the recommendations of medical experts and taking the necessary safety measures.

Skip The First Few Games

The NHL and the NHLPA have also been providing guidance on how fans can attend games this season. While there is no reason to believe that hockey will be any less enjoyable if played without fans in attendance, there is also no reason to believe that it will be any more enjoyable if played with no spectators either. The key is to take good care of your health and have fun.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has stated that if fans want to attend games, they should do so in moderation. This is especially important for those who are at an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus. It is never fun to be told that you cannot do something that you want to do, but in this case it may be necessary to avoid crowds.

Play In Private

Another important piece of advice for fans who want to get back out on the ice is to do so in private. Even if fans have been cleared to attend a game by medical experts, the chances of getting sick from the coronavirus are still quite high. Playing in public puts you at an increased risk of getting sick, especially if someone in your family gets sick.

Whether you attend a game or a practice, you can reduce your chances of getting sick from the coronavirus by maintaining a safe distance from other fans and health professionals. Maintaining a safe distance means playing in smaller groups or in a curtained off area. Practice and games should be postponed if there are any indications that more than 10% of the team or participating individuals have symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this case, the league should consider holding games in the winter.

Even if you don’t have symptoms yourself, it’s still a good idea to maintain a safe distance from others. The chances of you contracting the coronavirus are quite high, especially if someone in your family gets sick. Although there is still no concrete evidence that the virus is highly contagious, it remains a good idea to play in private if you can.

Attend Online Events

There are also a variety of online events and platforms that you can enjoy this season. Most notably, the NHL has announced that they will be holding an All-Star Game in a virtual format. The entire game, which features the best players in the NHL against each other, will be played online.

This is a great way for fans to enjoy an authentic NHL All-Star Game. Through the use of video calls, fans around the world will be able to see some of the greatest hockey players of all time compete in an exhibition game. Those who cannot attend an all-star game live will have the opportunity to witness the game through video chat with other fans.

Although live video chats will not satisfy the need for physical engagement that fans had with athletes during game days, they can provide a great experience for those who want to rekindle some of that feeling. The beauty of video chats is that they allow fans to be entertained and informed even when they are not attending a live event.

Attend Local Hockey Shops

If you are in Toronto, you can also take advantage of the fact that the city has a lot of hockey shops. With the NHL, the Maple Leafs, and the Toronto Raptors all within a day’s walk, you can easily spend an afternoon in the company of some delicious hot chocolate, catching a game, and browsing hockey equipment. Many shops have closed down due to the pandemic, but those that remain open provide an essential service for hockey fans. It is estimated that there are over a million fans who live in Toronto, which makes local shops a valuable source of income during these hard times.

It is uncertain how long the pandemic will last, but regardless of the outcome, sports enthusiasts in Toronto will have their outlet for hockey.

Hockey season is almost here, which for Toronto means lots of time on the ice for the Maple Leafs and their fans. With the World Cup of Hockey right around the corner, fans of all the participating teams are anxiously waiting for their squads to return from the break. Although the games have not been played yet, we are already seeing fans take to social media to express their excitement.

Whether you’re a hockey enthusiast or just enjoy the sport as a pastime, there are a variety of ways to enjoy the upcoming season despite the pandemic. If you’re looking to get back in the game, here are some suggestions on how to do so safely.

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