Boston Bruins Anders Bjork is raring to get back on the ice and potentially help the Boston Bruins take another crack at the Stanley Cup this summer. However, Bjork also understands that while it would be great to earn that prize that eluded the Bruins in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, they must keep their eyes on a bigger prize and that’s hopefully helping to stem the Coronavirus outbreak and bring some sense of normalcy to life in general.
“I think like a lot of guys have said, what’s going on in the world is a lot bigger than hockey,” Bjork told reporters in a Zoom conference call Wednesday. “I think the NHL has done a great job of making sure everyone stays safe. You see guys posting stuff on social media doing stuff inside and trying to influence others to do the little things that we can do right now to stop the spread of this virus.”
Since last week, NHL players with families, off the record, have started to express their disapproval of the plan that would end the NHL pause and could see such players away from their loved ones for up to three months. On Tuesday, Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault become the first to sound off on the record and shoot down the latest proposal for the NHL to revive the 2019-20 NHL season, hold the Stanley Cup playoffs, and have a full 82-game 2020-21 schedule.
“It really makes no sense, in my head, to distance myself for two months from my kid,” said Danault, who has a 14-month-old son. “And I imagine it makes even less sense for those who would go far in the playoffs, who are on playoff teams right now. If a team goes to the Stanley Cup Final, it could be three to four months. It’s inhumane to do that, as far as I’m concerned. But the league has to make a decision and I imagine the players will have to vote on it, and I’m not sure they’ll be in favor of being away from family for two-to-three months.”
If the NHL were to pull this off, it would require the players playing at four division sites where the players, team personnel, medical staff, officials, and media would be forced to quarantine for at least a month to finish the regular season. Teams, like the Boston Bruins, who have a solid chance to make it back to the Stanley Cup Final, could be gone for as long as three months. Bjork, 23, isn’t married and has no children but he has plenty of teammates with kids and on Wednesday he sympathized with them, Danault and all NHLers in that painful position. Bjork also realizes the safety risks involved but is confident the NHL will find a way to do what’s right for all involved.
“The most important thing right now is not hockey or the season, it’s obviously keeping people safe and I think the guys with families and young kids are obviously concerned about that,” Bjork said. “I think everyone is a little bit. That’s obviously the parameter of the situation right now and everyone knows that. So let’s hope that continues and I think it will, based on the decisions that have been made so far.”