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A Canadian Division?

from David Schoen of the Las Vegas-Review Journal,

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley might have let out a major secret Wednesday.

During his guest appearance on local radio station KSHP’s “Vegas Hockey Hotline,” Foley was asked about next season and facing defenseman Nate Schmidt, who was traded from the Knights to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

Foley’s response raised several eyebrows north of the border, and probably in the NHL offices, too.

“Yeah, but they’re going to be playing in the Canadian division next year,” he said....

Foley suggested that because of the surge in coronavirus cases in Canada, the NHL is considering having the seven Canadian teams play in a division.

That would leave the 24 teams based in the U.S. to play in separate geographic divisions.

“I don’t think that border is going to be open before Jan. 1, if it’s open Jan. 1,” Foley said. “They’re starting to lock down again. Winnipeg’s locking down. Quebec has got spikes going on. I think they’re going to be playing a Canadian division. I don’t think they’re going to be crossing the border.”
Foley’s comments created a huge stir in Canada, with fans and media dreaming about potential rivalries.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to the Review-Journal that the league is still in the preliminary stages of planning for next season and is not prepared to comment.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Paul's avatar

This is not the first time we have heard about this, talk about a Canadian Division for a year has been ongoing for about a month.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/14/20 at 07:24 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Oh, wow.  Bill Daly playing clean up behind Bill Foley.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 10/14/20 at 07:26 PM ET


I think the comments about not having teams fly around to empty arenas if they can’t get fans in the seats is even more interesting. That makes me believe multiple bubbles will be much more likely.

Maybe one bubble for each division in a city that has two rinks and would allow minimal fan attendance?

I don’t think it’s even remotely possible to think every city in the league will be in a position to host fans at any point in the first few months of 2020

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/14/20 at 07:49 PM ET


NFL is a good exaple of why you need bubbles

Posted by ThatGuy on 10/14/20 at 09:31 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

The Wings better not be thrown out west again.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 10/14/20 at 11:02 PM ET


NFL is a good exaple of why you need bubbles

Posted by ThatGuy on 10/14/20 at 09:31 PM ET

I would argue the exact opposite. After close to a month of training camp and 5 full weeks of games there have been positive cases on 5 teams(?), and how many games have had to be pushed back to a different week? 1? 2? According to ESPN, as of 10/9 there had been a total of 58 positive tests out of 330k+ administered, with most of the positives being staff and not players.

There is still a lot of season to go, but they’re showing that with the proper procedures and precautions the show can go on. Setting up bubbles would certainly increase the odds of successfully completing a whole season, but it’s going to be a tough sell after looking at how the MLB handled and the NFL is currently handling a regular season without a bubble.

Posted by MZ2215 on 10/15/20 at 08:17 AM ET


The problem with that MZ is that the NFL has far fewer contests. So even if they’ve only had to push and reschedule a small amount it’s still at a greater proportion of the schedule at large. Additionally, they’re not trying to run a full season in such a condensed fashion as it looks like the NHL has to do. With larger rosters, a mostly regular calendar and only 1 contest per week the strain on all of the systems is much less than the NHL would face.

On the other hand when you look at baseball playing a condensed schedule with similar sized rosters not in bubbles they’ve literally had to reschedule dozens and dozens and dozens of contests. That might work more easily in baseball where you can easily schedule out a double header (or 5) and teams are already used to playing the same team 3\4 times simultaneously, but I don’t believe it will work in the NHL.

I’m not saying bubbles are a guarantee, but given the immense amount of success the NHL just enjoyed with them, given the incredible variables with covid protocols from state to state, and given all of the projections (which we are already seeing come true) about a bad fall and worse winter with infections, I just don’t see the NHL trying to pull this off any other way.

Plus, like the article says… If you can’t get fans into every building for every game then why is the league going to fly teams and players around the country continuously when they might be looking for major cash savings in terms of travel\lodging to help mitigate the loss in ticket sales. Some of the loss rather.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 10:38 AM ET


how many games have had to be pushed back to a different week? 1? 2?

There were 8 scheduling changes made just this week.



Posted by evileye on 10/15/20 at 11:24 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The real problem with this is that people are treating Covid like terminal cancer.

This is a very very very contagious flu, its the contagious nature that is dangerous, as many forms of flu and illnesses can be fatal to certain groups, particularly older populations. Additionally, on the onset, we did not know how to treat this, it was new.  While we do not have a cure, nor do we have one for the common flu, we do now know how better to treat this, we have the supplies to treat this and the capacity to treat this.  The medical and pharma community is working overtime, and it has only been 6-7 months, given 2 more months, more knowledge, more treatments and likely a vax for at least hospitals and 1st responders will be available.  Its not perfect, but its not March or April anymore.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting a packed arena shoulder to shoulder is warranted, and due to international politics I mean international relations/law, we might not be able to cross borders, I get that.  That said, the notion of having to go into a bubble to play hockey in January is utterly ridiculous.

If this was the Senior PGA, I would feel differently, but these are finely tuned, younger athletes.  Like everyone in this country, if those associated with the team, or the players themselves have a comorbidity, they need to stay home and protect themselves.  However, if Sally can go work at a grocery store, Bill at the liquor store, Joe at the factory, and Jane in her office, hockey can be played.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/15/20 at 11:36 AM ET


That said, the notion of having to go into a bubble to play hockey in January is utterly ridiculous.

The only thing that’s ridiculous is calling this virus a flu, which is most certainly is not. Thinking that there is going to be an effective vaccine readily available for any substantial part of the population(even solely focused on healthcare workers) is rather ridiculous as well.

It’s becoming increasingly likely that the worst has yet to come both in terms of infections and deaths. Although we don’t know for certain it is looking like this thing could be raging pretty hard in the coming months. And yes of course our treatments are getting better, but just because we know how to treat people better does not mean governments are going to allow things to occur (like people in buildings or international crossings) that could significantly affect their populations.

It really doesn’t matter what is warranted or not in regards to fans in buildings because you’re never going to get cohesive rules and protocols across the states in regards to this.

Thinking that this issue rests solely on the fitness of the athletes involved is a bit blind. Only a small portion of this is about the athletes themselves getting sick(which still fails to recognize the long term health affects that even a finely tuned athlete can suffer from). This is about the big picture, the support systems, the logistics in all of these different cities. This is about the players’ families and all of their touch points. And more so than just about anything else this is about money money money. So if the owners have a guaranteed plan for bubbles which is more lucrative economically than not doing bubbles you can bet your bottom dollar they are going with bubbles. I’m not saying that is most assuredly the case in terms of bubbles being more profitable, but it’s at least possibly the case.

Again, I’m not saying playing in bubbles is a foregone conclusion, but to asset that the very notion is ridiculous pretty much turns a blind eye to reality.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 11:49 AM ET


And I’ll just edit to add that what I meant to say was thinking there will be an effective vaccine IN TWO MONTHS readily available is rather ridiculous.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 11:51 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

It’s becoming increasingly likely that the worst has yet to come both in terms of infections and deaths. 
Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 11:49 AM ET

The statics do not bear that out, but I see your taking your media prescribed fear intravenously, so we’ll just agree to disagree on this one. 


Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/15/20 at 12:50 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Statistics errr auto correct.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/15/20 at 12:51 PM ET


The statics do not bear that out

Thanks for the chuckle. I don’t know what statistics you’re referencing, but the US has seen a 19% increase in daily incidence over the past two weeks alone. It’s generally accepted that cases are going to rise over the coming months and when cases rise so do hospitalizations. While you are absolutely welcome to hold your opinions, there is only one set of facts whether you agree with them or not.

As far as you being afraid of the media that’s on you and not much the rest of us can do to change that.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 01:00 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 01:00 PM ET

Sure numbers are facts, but numbers have factors and when provided without they can be twisted.  As an example,  2 is greater than 1 right,  FACT, but 2 out of 10 is a lower rate than 1 out of 3. 

So consider the factors…

We are testing 1 million people per day, we topped out at 100 thousand back in March, a 10 fold increase, and we’re doing so with better faster more reliable test, so of course the positive cases are going up. 

We also have kids going back to school, people to work, sports leagues, etc. yet the rate is not exploding despite more social interaction.

Hospitalization has gone up slightly the last two weeks, but up from a valley in the numbers, way down from the original peak.  What you have to factor into that trend however is the early treatment with intravenous medications, which are not OTC and done in a medical setting.  Months ago, when you were hospitalized, it was not for early treatment to feel better and go home, it was to get in line for a ventilator to survive.

What’s not going up is the death rate, not absolute numbers because you can’t un-die, but the underlying death rate.  Its going down, has been going down, when’s the last time that has been reported?  Keep living in your media fear.


Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/15/20 at 02:24 PM ET


You keep talking about being afraid of the media. Why are you so afraid of the media?

Why am I not the least bit surprised that you came responding with your Trump talking point. More testing = more cases. That completely ignores the fact that if the virus was in check and wasn’t spreading then cases would not be continually and exponential Loy increasing.

You think there’s going to be a vaccine available in two months and the virus will be mitigated enough to allow the NHL fans back into buildings. You go ahead and keep believing that and in two months I’ll check back in here and see how that’s going for you.

Of course the death rate isn’t going up. I never claimed it was. But guess what… the death count sure as hell is! It’s going up higher and higher and higher than any industrialized nation. Actually, higher than ANY nation. But you go right ahead and keep thinking that’s not a problem. And by the way you’re proud of the death rate here in the states? 18th worst amongst first world nations last time I checked. Do you really want the death rate here in the states to be the catalyst upon which your opinion hangs? Why don’t you consider what our numbers would be here with a death rate similar to Canada or Australia or some of the other leading industrialized nations who are at least attempting to keep control of this virus.

And by the way if you go look at the actual statistics positive rates are going up in plenty of places in this country right now. And it’s not just regional trends. If you go like around at the actual statistics for hot spots in the upper Midwest, New England, parts of the Carolinas and plenty of other places you’ll see case positivity rate going up. So while there have absolutely been many improvements to treatments etc and there will be continued improvement from here on out, we are by no means out of the woods with this thing. These aren’t my opinions… this is what a vast majority of epidemiologists across the country are saying out there. Epidemiologists, not the media that you’re so terrified of.

All of that ignores your original comment which I took issue with. You think it’s ridiculous to consider the NHL using a bubble format next year. Your words not mine. It’s laughable for you to think that’s not being considered right now by the league and owners as we speak.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 02:40 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 02:40 PM ET

Oh boy here we go, I’ll try to stay in order.

I’m not afraid of the media, I don’t buy their fear like you do.  I’m not living in fear of covid, I have just as much of a chance dying in a car accident.  I’m also not tossing caution to the wind,  but I’ve returned to pre-covid activities with masks and social distancing where possible. 

Not a trump fan, rather a statistician, and he’s not lying about the testing fact.

Few countries have this in check, 1 of few is Sweden, who felt a lot of pain early and is now doing the best in terms of current rates, they’re playing hockey. This is too contagious to hold in check to elimination, which is why the WHO said economic lockdowns are not worth it.  Deaths are going up around the world, every country, nobody is immune.  We won’t know the right strategy until two years from now.

Never said anything about fans, I said bubble hockey, and I said likely a vax for 1st responders

Your using “nations” not per capita. We have a huge population and dense populated cities predicated on logistics, not comparable to Canada and Australia.  Per capita we’re around the middle and we’re also more vigilant in how we report a covid death based on how we’re reimbursing hospitals.

Never suggested we were out of the woods or done with this, I suggested its ridiculous to consider bubble hockey, and maintain that, its ridiculous. 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/15/20 at 03:00 PM ET


Damn you’re useful for a good chuckle. My favorite part is how you can only focus in on one of a plethora of talking points and then you attempt to make false assumptions to twist it in your direction.

Murray Pal you’re the only one who keeps talking about being afraid of the media. I’m not afraid of the media. I’ve never said I was. I’m sticking to purely scientific facts backed up by the scientists and epidemiologists. If your entire narrative is made up of some false assumption about me then all that is is a projection of to ur very own fear. You haven’t been able to reply once without talking about how scary the media is…. so ask YOURSELF why you are so afraid of the media.

You can’t claim to be a statistician when you’re ignoring a majority of the facts and throwing around false claims like “ the stats don’t bear that iut” without bringing a SINGLE star to the table that argues otherwise.

Sweden does not have this in check and most officials and epidemiologists in Sweden have regretted making the early decisions they did. Especially sense herd immunity is a MYTH with out a vaccine that takes that into account. We know reinfection is possible so without a suitable vaccine to take that into account…

The populations of other countries only matter in raw counts and in regards to population densities. Are you trying to argue that Canada hasn’t done a better job at mitigating the virus than the US? Because that’s what it looks like and let me tell you as someone who works in the states for a Canadian company and talks to Canadians literally every single day I can tell you this opinion of yours could not be more wrong.

I’m sorry your entire narrative is based upon faulty opinions and a denial of reality. You go right ahead and keep living that life with your fear of the media. Good luck with that pal.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 03:44 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Travis Yost of TSN on this topic today.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/15/20 at 04:21 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Its not fear of the media, unsure why your confused about this point, I actually distrust the media because of their agenda, both sides, whereas you appear to be manipulated by the fear they’re selling. Its ok, we’re all products of what we consume, I see why your still scared of covid.  I myself I seek a balanced diet of info on both sides, and then go get my own numbers vs. believing anything fed to me. 

On Canada, I agree, Canada has done better than the US as whole, no argument. Why? Let’s provide some context

Canada has a parliamentary government with centralized power over 10 provinces so they can lead top down, while the US has a federalist government where each of the 50 states has the power and rights, and their governor ran their own ship. Easier to manage 10 or 50? 1 government body of 50 plus 2 bodies that each can’t get out of their own butt? In the US, I’m a big believer that is matters less who the President is than your governor and local leaders, though that tide might change going forward.

A bigger factor though is that while Canada and US are roughly the same size.
US has 9x the population size
US has 10x as many people in Nursing homes and in the US, many mistakes were made in regard to the nursing homes at state level.
US has 10x the amount of GDP than Canada that needed to be throttled to slow the spread.
US has a much more robust international and domestic travel, US has about 20,000 commercial airports compared to about 500 in Canada
All the above makes a much easier and less dense area to manage. States with similar dynamics to Canada Alaska Wyoming Montana had lower death per capita.
Flip side, its also why therapeutics and the vax will come out of the US not Canada. Why we are tossing around ventilators around etc.

As far as Sweden, look at the daily death rate change since inception, big steep climb early followed by a long trajectory down and they’re not even masked.  How will that play out, not sure, like I said, we won’t know the right strategy around this for probably another 2 years. 

Good debate, but I gotta go live some life, enjoy that basement (joking).

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 10/15/20 at 05:39 PM ET


Sweden isn’t masked? That’s unequivocally false. I’ve already said it once. You go look at what their health officials are saying now and they unequivocally say they regret going about things the way they did and the virus is still present and herd immunity is nowhere close to being achieved.

I never tried to make a point that Canada wasn’t easier to manage. But the fact remains they’ve done a hell of a lot better job managing the virus regardless of how easy or not it was. This is best exemplified by the fact that Americans are still not allowed in Canada while Canadians can cross over into the states now(by air).

It doesn’t matter how easy or not it was for other countries when our response was an unequivocal disaster it’s irrelevant how hard it not it was. We barely even trued(on a federal level). It’s all relative. Sure it was a harder task for the Us, but we had a hell of a lot more resources at our disposal and still failed and continue to fail miserably.

You keep talking about being afraid of the media. Why are you projecting this onto everyone else? I’m not afraid of the media. I listen to the scientists and doctors. I know too many of them in public health sectors to buy into your delusional conspiracy laden eldest of the media.

Your talking points are tired and debunked and you’re (see how we spell that word, you’re) failing to look at the big picture. You obviously have no clue how big companies and large projects work if you think it’s ridiculous for the NHL to even consider bubbles next season. They are in the game of making money and playing mitigation for all scenarios. They couldn’t even pull off a season right now without some type of hybrid bubbles due to travel restrictions both in the states and Canadian provinces. At least 4 team(NYI, NYR, BUF, BOS) are all located in states with pretty serious quarantine rules regarding coming or leaving the state. There is literally no way to execute a season without hybrid bubbles. I know Canada also has similar restrictions for inter province travel but im not clear on how strict those are in Ontario/Quebec or if it’s just limited to the maritimes. Both of those provinces by the way are in the midst just this week of taking steps backwards in terms of opening phases because the virus is beginning to spike again there.

I’m all set now with your debunked conspiracies. Go ahead and knock yourself out with the last comments. Let’s agree to disagree for now and luck this back up in a few months.

Posted by beantownredwings on 10/15/20 at 07:31 PM ET

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