The St. Louis Blues are the most recent team to suspend operations due to COVID.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) July 4, 2020
Multiple players/staff from the Blues have tested positive for COVID-19. The Tampa Bay Lightning were the first team to suspend operations in mid-June when they had multiple confirmed positive tests.
The NHL also made it public that of the 250 players in Phase 2, 15 players tested positive for COVID-19 (6%). Another 11 players who hadn’t yet participated in Phase 2 also tested positive.
With Phase 3 –full training camp– set to begin on July 13, the NHL is putting itself at risk. The only US area that doesn’t have a spike in COVID-19 cases is the New York/New Jersey metro area. However the NHL can’t create a “bubble” atmosphere, so they are shifting to Canada for their hub cities. Toronto and Edmonton appear to be the main options.
The Blues and Lightning are the first two to suspend operations. The league is playing a dangerous game with a virus that we still don’t know much about. Personally, I think it’s time to just cancel the season and gear up for a full 2020-2021 season to the best of their ability. It’s unpopular, but it’s likely best for the long-term health of the players.