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Holiday Links: the Grinch That Spoiled Christmas

A Very Good Day! First, after a brief hiatus, I am back. During the holiday season, there has been a lot of breaking news that needs to be tied up. Where to start?. There’s been so much going on. You will notice, my blog looks a little different. There have been some changes that I don’t have any control over. Recently, the blog was bought and changed hands.

Since it is Christmas, I will leave you with this beauty. Christmas Vacation is one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time.

The Christmas Holidays offer a great opportunity to see some future NHL stars.

The Grinch that Spoiled Christmas

During the 2021 Christmas season, Covid-19 is proving to be the the Grinch that spoiled Christmas. It’s becoming the never ending saga, or, like Ground Hog Day. Where to start?

It’s official, the NHL won’t be going to the Olympics. To be honest with you, I glad that they’re not. Can you imagine testing positive for Covid and then having to sit in quarantine for 3-5 weeks. I can’t either.

With the NHL Stars not participating in the Olympics, this could have a huge impact on the college hockey world. Here are some tidbits from Chris Petters and Brad Schlossman.

UND sophomore defenseman Jake Sanderson, who is among the world’s best players not currently on an NHL contract, would likely be one of USA Hockey’s first phone calls.

Chris Peters of the Daily Faceoff projected that Sanderson would be a top-pair USA defenseman without NHL players. (Grand Forks Herald)

If Peters’ prediction comes true, there will be a few teams that would take a hit. Michigan is one team that comes to mind.

Will There Be a Change to the NHL COVID Protocol?

On Wednesday, Boston Bruins President Cam Neely said something that resonated with me.

“It’s tough to say what’s going to happen coming out of this Christmas break,” said Neely. “Hopefully, the positive test numbers start to drop dramatically, that guys are careful over the break, not just on our team but across the league. At some point we’re going to have to start living life and dealing with this as best we can. But we’ve got to get back to a regular schedule here at some point.” (Boston Herald)

There’s a theme that’s starting to emerge from the NHL camps. Why are we testing players if they’re not experiencing any symptoms? Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman also questioned the testing of players if they don’t have any symptoms.

“I really don’t know what the right thing is. At the end of the day, I think — and now I’m getting political — but at the end of the day our players are testing positive with very little symptoms, if any symptoms at all.”

“I don’t see it as a threat to their health at this point. I think you might take it a step further and question why are we even testing, for guys that have no symptoms,”

Yzerman said during his media availability Saturday.

Recently, the NFL changed it’s Covid protocols.

The league announced changes to its COVID protocols, the most noteworthy of which will see vaccinated players subject only to occasional spot-testing unless symptomatic. Non-vaccinated players will continue to test daily, but the change will cut down significantly on the number of tests, and effectively allow for some vaccinated players to play if asymptomatic, even if they have COVID. With so many vaccinated players going into protocol with little or no symptoms after testing positive this week, this approach gives the league a workaround so it can continue to play. (New York Post)

Ethan Bowen

It would appear that Ethan Bowen is no longer committed to the University of North Dakota hockey team. Looking at his Twitter profile, he still has University of North Dakota commit. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Joel Eriksson Ek Injured

The Minnesota Wild now has a hole in their lineup to fill. Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek, suffered an upper-body injury and will be out for a significant amount of time.

Here’s the video hit that injured Eriksson Ek. By the rules, this isn’t a dirty hit. However, the Wild forward is in a vulnerable position. Dallas defenseman Jani Hakanpaa finishes his check. I do imagine that one of the Wild players will have a chat with Hakanpaa when Dallas and Minnesota play again on March 6, 2022.

College Football Playoffs Protocol

What happens if a College Football Playoff team gets COVID?

That’s a good question.

COVID rules for College Football Playoff semifinals:

If one team in either of the College Football Playoff games (Cotton and Orange Bowls) are unable to play, they would forfeit the game. The other team would advance to the national championship game.

If both teams in one of the games are unable to play, the winner of the other semifinal game would be declared the national champion.

If three teams are unable to play, the one team still able to play would be named the national champion.

COVID rules for College Football Playoff national championship:

If one of the final two teams is determined to be unavailable after the semifinal games, the championship game can be rescheduled to no later than Jan. 14. If the game cannot be rescheduled, the team unable to play will forfeit the game. The other team will be declared the national champion. If both teams are unable to play, the game will be declared a no contest, and the championship will be vacated this season.

About Eric J. Burton

Eric Burton is a 1996 and 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey. Finally, Eric is the Editor of the Sin Bin at the Sports Daily.

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