As the spread of COVID-19 continues around the world, professional sports leagues and organizations are starting to feel the effects. The San Jose Sharks are the first NHL team that is dealing with the consequences, as gatherings of more than 1,000 people have been banned in Santa Clara county. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic (subscription required) examined the situation in full, noting that the possibility exists that the Sharks will play in front of no fans later this month.
It’s not just individual teams feeling the changes though. Today, both the EBEL and DEL, leagues in Austria and Germany respectively, have cancelled the remainder of their seasons, including playoffs. The EBEL also includes teams from Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic.
- It has become routine among the Pittsburgh Penguins this season to expect injury, though one still has to feel for Nick Bjugstad. The forward has suffered another lower-body injury that is unrelated to any prior, and has been listed as “week-to-week” once again according to head coach Mike Sullivan. Bjugstad has played just 13 games this season, scoring two points.
- Travis Hamonic was back at practice in full for the Calgary Flames today, skating alongside T.J. Brodie on the second defense pairing. That suggests the veteran defenseman will return to the Flames’ lineup later this week for the first time in over a month. Calgary is barely holding onto their third place position in the Pacific Division, meaning Hamonic’s return will be a welcome one as they prepare for the stretch run.