We got some agitating news in the hockey world yesterday when it was reported from Rick Westhead and then John Shannon that the NHL is looking into procuring a private purchase COVID-19 vaccines for the upcoming season. This caused a big stir as obviously it’s an extremely bad look and callous move to buy up a portion of the currently limited number of vaccines currently being produced by pharmaceutical companies over the heads of frontline workers and at-risk populations.
Source confirms that the NHL is planning the private purchase of a COVID vaccine for all constituents involved in the potential upcoming season.— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) December 10, 2020
Doctors say they suspect pro sports leagues are exploring private purchases of Covid-19 vaccines and the Public Health Agency of Canada tells me it can’t stop Pharma companies from selling their vaccines to a “private enterprise."— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) December 10, 2020
As mentioned in the story above, the NHL has navigated this territory before. During the H1N1 outbreak, 150 Calgary Flames staff, players and family members quietly were vaccinated before some seniors homes.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) December 11, 2020
It led to a provincial inquiry.
The initial word was that the vaccines would be bought for this season, which the NHL hopes to start on January 13th, but several follow-up clarifications from Shannon and other media members made it clear that the vaccine isn’t available for private purchase (yet), as governments have been given priority.
“The distribution of the vaccine in Canada would initially go to the most vulnerable populations in society. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization named the elderly, long-term care home residents and staff, front-line health workers and Indigenous communities as the groups that should receive the vaccine first and though the distribution is subject to provincial government discretion, they are widely expected to follow the recommendation, the CBC reported.” - Yahoo! Sports
My understanding is this wouldn’t happen for a few months, and NHL –like its stance on buying tests this summer–wouldn’t step in front of public need.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) December 11, 2020
Also, while NHL can make vaccine available to players, league would have hard time mandating vax given NHLPA needs to approve https://t.co/kewOiZqY6Q
So by the end of the evening, what would’ve been a terrible act turned into a media snafu. A friend of mine wondered if Shannon got his source that worked in the NHL fired because of this. Considering the backlash his incorrect report got, I wouldn’t be surprised.
For clarification...— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) December 11, 2020
The NHL is interested in securing vaccine when and if it’s available for private purchase.
Is it at this point? — no.
The league also is adamant they would not jump the line to do so.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Gage Goncalves survived the first round of cuts on Team Canada’s World Juniors roster and skated as a 10th forward during the team’s scrimmage yesterday. It doesn’t look like he’s going to be a regular in the lineup, but I hope for the kid that he’s there.
Dec. 10 | Lines for tonight's intrasquad scrimmage ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/pL3O62LQNN— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) December 11, 2020
Stanley Cup Final game-worn jersey auction closes today at 6pm!
Our Stanley Cup Final game-worn jersey auction closes tomorrow at 6:00pm ET!— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 10, 2020
Own your own piece of #Bolts history while benefitting the Lightning Foundation. ⚡️
Bid: https://t.co/EmJqnFpZ7U pic.twitter.com/p1pBtJ4Nuq
In more WJC news, Sweden’s coach has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team is looking for a new person behind the bench. The team’s first choice is some guy names Daniel Alfredsson. Apparently he played for the Detroit Red Wings?
Sweden is looking for a head coach for the WJC and according to @sportbladet Daniel Alfredsson is right now the first choice.— Mikael Holm (@carlmikaelholm) December 10, 2020
And finally, if you haven’t seen this video from Patty Jenkins, director of the upcoming Star Wars movie Rogue Squadron, you will want to see it. So cool.
Let’s get you out on the ice Patty!— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 11, 2020