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Players tell the ‘secrets’ of NHL bubbles

Greg Wyshynski, founder of the Puck Daddy blog (sold to Yahoo), is now hiring ESPN. He had the chance to chat with nine NHL players who spent time in one of the two bubbles created by the NHL (Edmonton and Toronto).

I almost wrote make time referring to jail time, but I refrained. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

The players currently in the Stanley Cup Final will have spent just over two months in a bubble, without seeing their family (for players whose family does not reside in Canada in particular). It’s long!

Others like Sidney Crosby, who only made it to the qualifying round, have already left the bubble since the beginning of August.

In short, nine players have agreed to tell on condition of anonymity their experience in a bubble at ESPN. Here’s what was interesting about what they had to say.

– They were tested every day, without exception. In the evening, before going to bed.

– Yes, they like to play hockey, especially when they have the chance to win the Stanley Cup… but spending so much time cut off from society (imprisoned in a hotel) was difficult to manage emotionally for some. We only have to think of Tuukka Rask. Some players were less happy than usual after just a few days. Some were sad and almost depressed.

– The players felt safe. Perhaps even too much according to one of them.

– They wore the mask especially for the image since they all knew they were negative for COVID-19.

– The fences and the life locked up in a hotel looked like a prison. Some felt claustrophobic.

– Seeing the Stanley Cup handed over to a team over the next few days will be the ultimate proof that the NHL’s plan was excellent. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported inside bubbles.

– What we promised to the players in the bubble vs what they really got like life / entertainment, these are two very different things. It was boring and boring, that’s it.

– Some teams like the CH offered more to their players. For example, Montreal players were entitled to wraps and to smoothies in their section while the Panthers players, no.

– The players had more fun in Toronto than in Edmonton. The offer was not the same for them.

– People who resided at the JW Marriott, Edmonton could be 48 hours without breathing outside air. There is a tunnel that connects the hotel and the arena.

– Some find that the NHL and the Canadian government have been too restrictive on the conditions for bringing families into the bubble. They had however sold the project to the players before their entry into the bubble. Even the families of players residing in Canada had to place themselves in complete isolation for 4 to 7 days before officially entering the bubble and to see again papa.

– The players were able to drink wine, beer… and eat cannabis candy. With a few exceptions, guys used alcohol and drugs more to relax and unwind than to tripper. Especially in the case of candy pot. Remember that they are legal in Canada …

– No player would have broken the bubble to have sex it seems. So much the better.

– The proximity to other teams disturbed several players (and probably several coaches / directors also).

– The Alberta bubble playground really looks like prison yard. #AmuseToi #LOL

It sounds like fun …
(Credit: ESPN)

– The absence of supporters has lungs for players, especially those from traditional hockey markets. But the product delivered to the rink was still of high quality according to them. They are right in my opinion.

– Very few players will agree to isolate themselves again in a bubble next season. Not for a full season… not for a shortened season… and not even for the playoffs! Another hint of a shortened season that won’t start until March at best?

A lot of

– Five players likely to see their contract be redeemed on Saturday. [HockeyFeed]

– Neymar is still in trouble …

– Preparatory match canceled between the Saguenéens and the Cataractes on Saturday. With reduced numbers, both teams have agreed that one match will be enough this weekend.

– 10 Euros difference! Why?

– Good news for Canadian tennis!

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