While there are now four cases of NHL players testing positive for COVID-19, no individual has been named as of yet. However, a member of the NHL community has now officially been recognized as a victim of the Coronavirus pandemic. The NBA’s New York Knicks announced that owner James Dolan has tested positive for COVID-19. Dolan owns both the Knicks and New York Rangers and is the Executive Chairman and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company.
Fortunately, the report indicates that Dolan, 64, is “experiencing little to no symptoms.” He and his family remain in self-isolation in their home in the Hamptons, while Dolan still continues to oversee business operations for the Madison Square Garden Company.
One of his recent decisions was in fact to set up the “MSG Relief Fund” to financially assist employees at this time, per The New York Post’s Larry Brooks. The company donated $1MM, which was then matched by Dolan’s personal Dolan Family Foundation.
The Rangers have not made an announcement of their own on Dolan’s condition, continuing a trend across the NHL of refraining from public comment on Coronavirus diagnoses. By all accounts though, Dolan is the first owner in the NHL – or NBA for that matter – to have tested positive for COVID-19. It is not believed at this time that any Rangers players have been tested for the virus.
While battling this sickness, Dolan is still undoubtedly one of the NHL owners lobbying for a continuation of the NHL regular season, if at all possible. While the Knicks are among the worst teams in the NBA, the Rangers had picked up steam before the league’s “pause” and were in the thick of the Eastern Conference wild card race. If the NHL was to jump directly into the standard 16-team postseason upon their return to action, the Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Florida Panthers would all narrowly miss the playoffs while – a worst-case scenario for Rangers fans – the rival New York Islanders would claim the final spot in the East.