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Lightning Round: Sports around the world are slowly returning but with restrictions

And some crazy news about Pavel Datsyuk.

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

After almost three months of life without sports, in some countries where the amount of daily COVID-19 cases started falling, many sports associations have resumed their tournaments. Yesterday, English soccer’s Premier League returned exactly 100 days after the shutdown. The German’s Bundesliga restarted even before, in the middle of May.

However, strict rules still apply to those games. In England, just 300 people are allowed to enter the stadium and only 110 of them will be permitted pitchside.

As we all know, the NHL has also revealed their plans to return for the 2020 Playoffs. The rules for Phase 3 and 4 are still not clear but we can be pretty sure that there will also be some restrictions on the amount of people allowed into facilities and some changes to another aspects of the game. For instance, players and coaching staff on the bench will be forced to wear face-masks or full face shields and fighting might be forbidden.

All those things also lead us to another thought: how long will those restrictions will be a part of sporting events? The government in Germany have extended a ban on all public events till the end of October and are discussing a potential extension till the end of the year. For some European hockey teams, playing without fans can be lethal. Budgets of many of them are very dependant on ticket revenue, so playing a significant part of the season in empty arenas could hurt them very badly and might not even be possible.

NHL teams are more independent and have much more sources of income. However, they will be affected too. The salary cap before the COVID-19 hiatus was expected to rise for next season, but now it’s not even certain yet if it could stay at this season’s $81.5 million. There have already been some rumours that it might drop below this bar.

Although there is some positive news, New Zealand have declared the coronavirus elimination and celebrated it with a return of the Super Rugby tournament in fully packed stadiums

Other News and Links

Reporters continued to sort through the Buffalo Sabres organizational changes after hiring a new general manager.

The full list of people who were fired on Tuesday is below.

If you think this year couldn’t get any weirder, you are wrong. Apparently Pavel Datsyuk holed up in a Russian monastery with a priest denying the coronavirus pandemic.