As we all know, Covid-19 vaccines are out. Most are getting them so that we can get back to what we all had before 2020 occurred. All of the major sports outlets want their athletes to be vaccinated. The NBA has told their athletes if they get vaccinated they would lesser requirements on Covid-19. From what I read and heard, the players would be allowed on the road to be able to go out to eat in a restaurant and eat a meal instead of having to eat in your hotel room. It makes it nice to be able to have some freedom. The NHL has also wanted to apply some of the same freedoms that they have in the NBA. There has been a player that has spoken out of why the NHL has not done the same as the NBA.
Robin Lehner, the goaltender for the Las Vegas Golden Knights, said that he was coerced into being vaccinated. He was told that the league would have relaxed protocols. At this point, no other player was told that if they were vaccinated that what Lehner said would happen. At this time, it comes down to the NHL and NHLPA. What it comes down to is either someone lied to him or he misunderstood what was said to him. I remember he sent out a tweet that it was like being in jail with all the stringent protocols there are in place for the NHL. Lehner deleted the tweet and said he made a mistake when he sent out the tweet. Both sides are looking into how they can make the protocols easier on the players. It might come down to what state the player plays in.
Some states like Texas who has allowed 100 percent at their sporting events. At those events, they are also not requiring the fans to wear a mask. We all know that the virus is no joke and we do not need to end up back in 2020 where we had no fans. I can tell you covering a college football game for the University of South Florida having no fans in the stands was eerie. Hockey has taken very smart protocols with the US-Canadian border being closed. The Canadian government is still making anyone that crosses the border, if they can, to be in a 14-day quarantine. Most likely, we will see another playoff bubble for the NHL playoffs. There is currently an all-Canadian division which means there will be a Canadian-based team in the conference finals. All sports want to return to having 100% fans in attendance.
I am sure athletes are ready to go out and have drinks and eat out before and after their games. The only way we are going to get back to that is to continue to do what we have done and get vaccinated. The NHL has done a great job with its protocols. Hopefully, Lehner and the rest of the players can have more relaxed protocols. That might take until next year before that happens. If not it may happen depending on what states the players are playing in. I think that if everyone gets vaccinated we can get back to what the normal was. I am not saying that if you are against being vaccinated then that is ok. All the leagues will go back to what they were able to do prior to 2020 very soon if the protocols that are in place continued to be followed.