You know it’s officially the strangest year of our lifetime when the NHL has been more effective than the other major team sports’ leagues with its plan to return to action after a longer than four-month shutdown of sports due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Players and owners bickered over money for two months causing baseball to miss a golden opportunity to have the sports stage all to itself. Instead, we are left with a 60 game regular season and many prominent players bowing out of this season.

MLB hasn’t even been able to test its players properly for Covid-19. Many teams missed days of training camp because it took as long as five days to get results.

The NBA announced two months ago that it would resume play within a bubble at Disney World in Florida. The problem is that since announcing the restart of its season, Florida, in particular Central Florida, has resurfaced as a hot spot for the virus.

Many players have tested positive for Covid-19 and will not take part in the exercise. Other players will stay home because they are not comfortable leaving their families for up to three months. Meanwhile, scores of players who are playing seem less than enthusiastic about heading to Orlando.

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The NFL went all-in during the off-season with free agency and the draft. Camps are scheduled to open at the end of July. However, the exhibition schedule has been reduced from four to two games. It would not come as a surprise if the regular season was delayed two to four weeks, meaning Super Bowl LV in Tompa Bay would take place in early March.

NFL owners have also proposed that 35 percent of players’ salaries this season be placed in escrow. Such a move would significantly impact an already fractious owner-player relationship.

Meanwhile, the NHL held its plan close to the vest, unveiling details once they were etched in stone.

Instead of one bubble location, the NHL has two, with Toronto and Edmonton serving as its hubs. Going north of the border is wise since Canada has a much better handle on the virus when compared to the United States.

Not surprisingly, very few players have complained or decided to skip the remainder of the season. Hockey players are a different breed. Among professional team sports athletes, hockey players are the most humble and accommodating. Getting their name on the Stanley Cup is something that every player dreams of.

The NHL has taken this opportunity to deal with potential labor issues as well. Instead of fighting about dollars, the league and players union quietly added four years to its Collective Bargaining Agreement while forming a plan to deal with the loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus. This deal guarantees labor peace through the 2025-26 season.

The league also announced that the first ten days of the reboot will feature five to six games per day starting as early as noon and running past midnight allowing hockey fans the opportunity to enjoy a nearly endless feast of competitive games.

Major League Baseball can’t even get its testing right. NBA players, rightfully so, seem less than enthusiastic heading into the hot spot of a pandemic. The NFL still has more questions than answers. Hockey quietly is ready to resume play with the best chance of finishing its season without incident.

Let’s drop the puck.

John Sapochetti is Co-Host
Heard On FullPressCoverage

Follow Him On Twitter @JohnSap25

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NHL Leading Scorers – 2019/20
Skater Statistics Table
Scor Scor Scor Scor
Rk Player Age Tm Pos GP G A PTS
1 Leon Draisaitl 24 EDM C 71 43 67 110
2 Connor McDavid 23 EDM C 64 34 63 97
3 Artemi Panarin 28 NYR LW 69 32 63 95
4 David Pastrnak 23 BOS RW 70 48 47 95
5 Nathan MacKinnon 24 COL C 69 35 58 93
6 Brad Marchand 31 BOS LW 70 28 59 87
7 Nikita Kucherov 26 TBL RW 68 33 52 85
8 Patrick Kane 31 CHI RW 70 33 51 84
9 Auston Matthews 22 TOR C 70 47 33 80
10 Jack Eichel 23 BUF C 68 36 42 78
11 Jonathan Huberdeau 26 FLA LW 69 23 55 78
12 John Carlson 30 WSH D 69 15 60 75
13 Mika Zibanejad 26 NYR C 57 41 34 75
14 Evgeni Malkin 33 PIT C 55 25 49 74
15 Kyle Connor 23 WPG LW 71 38 35 73
16 Mark Scheifele 26 WPG C 71 29 44 73
17 J.T. Miller 26 VAN C 69 27 45 72
18 Mitch Marner 22 TOR RW 59 16 51 67
19 Alex Ovechkin 34 WSH LW 68 48 19 67
20 Sebastian Aho 22 CAR F 68 38 28 66
21 Max Pacioretty 31 VEG LW 71 32 34 66
22 Elias Pettersson 21 VAN C 68 27 39 66
23 Steven Stamkos 29 TBL C 57 29 37 66
24 Roman Josi 29 NSH D 69 16 49 65
25 Blake Wheeler 33 WPG RW 71 22 43 65

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