As of now, the Boston Bruins are following the lead of the NHL as far as preparation for the Coronavirus.
“All questions about this should be directed to the NHL,” Bruins Vice President of Marketing and Communications Matthew Chmura told Boston Hockey Now in an email.
The NHL addressed the situation this past week at the NHL General Managers Meetings in Florida. Speaking to the media on Monday NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said at this point, the NHL didn’t anticipate having to postpone or cancel any games as sports leagues in Japan and Italy have already done thanks to the spread of COVID-19.
“I think it’s very unlikely — knock on wood, I’m hopeful — that we would progress to a stage where we have to consider something that dramatic,” Daly said. “But certainly everything is possible, and we have to look at all possible contingencies. If it gets to that point, we will be ready.”
The league has a joint health and safety committee featuring an infectious disease control subcommittee already in place and in coordination with health and government officials, they will continue to monitor the threat levels of serious outbreaks. They have also sent out memos to all 31 teams that they will keep them in the loop as well.
The Bruins are scheduled to conclude their training camp with an exhibition game in Germany at the end of September and then open the 2020-21 regular season in Prague, Czech Republic against the Nashville Predators the first week of October. When asked if there is a chance those and other games in Europe next fall may be canceled, Daly said it was a fluid situation they are and will continue to monitor.
“This is an evolving situation, so you get up every day and see what the latest news is,” Daly said. “Certainly we hope that it won’t even be a concern.”
The NHL is also scheduled to play games in China where the Coronavirus originated and as of now, those games will likely be canceled.
“We haven’t announced anything,” Daly said. “But it is unlikely we will play games in China next season, in part because of this health crisis.”
On Wednesday the NHL did ban all league employees (including team management and scouts) from traveling outside North America. If an employee does decide to travel outside North America, the NHL will enforce a two-week quarantine before they can return to work.
“If (league employees) go to a place that’s on the list of countries that have an issue, or while you’re there, that country comes on the list and then when you come back, we want you quarantined, out of the office for two weeks until we can see if symptoms develop,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Wednesday.