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NHL season resuming will be right thing to do, Guerin says
By Media Release
National Hockey League

NHL season resuming will be right thing to do, Guerin says

Bill Guerin said he believes the NHL season will resume, potentially in empty arenas, after it was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. "I think it does," the Minnesota Wild general manager told their website Monday. "The bottom line is, we're not doing anything unless it's safe for everybody. And if it is, I think we will, and I think it would be the right thing to do. It'll be a little unusual, a little unorthodox, but that's OK.

PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com


Saint Paul - Apr. 21, 2020:
Bill Guerin said he believes the NHL season will resume, potentially in empty arenas, after it was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

"I think it does," the Minnesota Wild general manager told their website Monday. "The bottom line is, we're not doing anything unless it's safe for everybody. And if it is, I think we will, and I think it would be the right thing to do. It'll be a little unusual, a little unorthodox, but that's OK. If we just wrap our arms around it and accept it, it will be fine. Once we start playing hockey, you play hockey."

The NHL is exploring all options while waiting for clearance from authorities to resume the season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told CNN on April 14 that players will need 2-3 weeks to get back into playing shape.

"I think the teams that come back in the best condition, and not just physically, but the best mental condition, are [going to] have an advantage and be ready to go," Guerin said.

One of those scenarios is playing games in empty arenas, which Guerin said he thinks is a real possibility.

"No doubt it will be different and there will be some adjusting that needs to be done mentally, but that's [going to] be what it is," Guerin said. "At the start, we'll just have to get used to it. We'll have to be mentally ready for everything. That's OK. If we sit here and complain about it or be negative about it, it won't be good for us, we'll just be doing ourselves more harm. If we get back to playing in empty buildings or at a neutral site, great, so be it. Let's just do it and see where we go.

"We're ready for anything, but it's really hard to put a plan in place when this is such a moving target."

The Wild (35-27-7) trail the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference after starting the season 1-6-0. Bruce Boudreau was fired as coach and replaced by assistant Dean Evason on Feb. 14, and Minnesota responded by winning eight of 12 games before the pause (8-4-0). Since the coaching change, the Wild are third in the NHL at 3.58 goals per game and fourth on the penalty kill at 91.2 percent (31-for-34).

"This has been the most bizarre year I think I can ever remember," said Guerin, who replaced Paul Fenton as Wild GM on Aug. 21. "And hey, look, the only thing that makes it bad is that there is this crazy virus going around. Everything else has been good. I'm disappointed we're not playing hockey right now, but what are you going to do?

"This is one of those things, you can't let it eat you up. You just have to embrace it, realize that this is reality right now and move on."


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