When you have faced down cancer, won a battle in the “fight for your life,” and your immune system is compromised perhaps that gives you a clearer picture of what’s important in life. So, when the news this past week was that the Winnipeg Jets’ great ex-player Dale Hawerchuk has completed his final round with chemo in his fight for his life and has left the hospital, it’s both a cause for celebration and for reflection.
In a recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press, Hawerchuk was a straight shooter. He was clear that he doesn’t believe there should be hockey until there’s a vaccine and a cure for the COVID-19 virus that would ease the pandemic that threatens the health of people all over the world. To be less that cautious would be unthinkable.
The Hall of Famer Hawerchuk is clear that he’s simply against the idea of resuming the 2019-20 campaign.
He noted, “If one person gets infected on a team, the whole league’s compromised. At some point, enough’s enough. This is where the world has got to wake up. I think I’d have more respect for the NHL and all these leagues if they said ‘You know, we’re done for this year.”
Hawerchuk even went on record to state that he believes playing in empty rinks over the summer would be too great a risk. He’s also “not seeing training camp in September.” He’s cautious, and with good reason.
However, he hopes to see a 2020-21 campaign played in some way. (from “Hawerchuk thankful for small victories, Jets legend bouncing back from cancer, urging caution on a return of sports, Mike McIntyre, Winnipeg Free Press, 23/04/20)
Hawerchuk’s insights differ from most of the news we hear from NHL hockey administrators, who seem to believe – insofar as you can take what they say at face value – that the league is still looking for ways to safely salvage the 2019-20 campaign. The NHL has been paused since March 12 due to the coronavirus.
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