With the NHL season currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian hockey players, owners, coaches, scouts, trainers and fans have had to adjust to a life without the country’s favourite sport.
HockeyCircles had the chance to connect with Jack McIlhargey (Current Scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and HockeyCircles Director) over the phone this weekend for a quick question and answer period.
HC: Hi Jack. Thanks for making the time for us.
JM: My pleasure.
HC: Clearly this has been a stressful time for everyone, not just those involved in the game of hockey. How you have been doing?
JM: Well, like most people, I do find it difficult to be stuck at home, especially now, with the nice weather because that’s when you want to BBQ, have people over. It’s also, difficult to not be working. We’re normally in the playoffs right now – the most exciting time in our sport. But my wife makes sure that I have a never-ending list of things to do around the home, so I have very little time to complain.
HC: So, would that be your advice to all the guys out there – to listen to their wives or girlfriends?
JM: Absolutely. Adopt the “Yes, I can do that” attitude and your time at home will go a lot easier.
HC: I’m sure you get asked this question repeatedly, but have you heard any news with respect to the current NHL season resuming?
Answer: No, I haven’t, which is not surprising given that Canada and the USA, like many other countries around the world, have restricted border crossings in place, as well as health directives for people to stay at home, avoid non-essential work and travel and use social distancing measures whenever possible.
HC: Here in British Columbia, there is some cautious optimism that some of the current restrictions could be lifted in the coming weeks. If some restrictions were lifted in Canada and the USA and the NHL could resume, what do you think the remainder of this season would look like?
Answer: Well, that’s a good question. First, the league would need to determine the schedule of play – would it be a resumption of the regular season or would we go straight into the playoffs?
Next, you’d have to factor in some training time for the players. They can’t just get a phone call tonight and be ready to play tomorrow. They will need to attend some form of a training camp prior to any resumption of competitive play.
For the fans, unless there is a complete lifting of all group gathering restrictions, their only option, in my opinion, would be to watch televised games from home.
HC: Jack, you’re also an active member of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni. Have you had any contact with that organization during this pandemic?
JM: As a matter of factor, we just had a virtual Board Meeting, a few days ago. Zoom worked very well for us.
HC: That’s great to hear. Jack, thanks again for taking our call.
JM: My pleasure. And to all the HockeyCircles’ members, please follow your local health directives and stay safe! We’re all in this together.