Kings' Drew Doughty: 'I Don't See How' NHL Season Resumes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 20:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings controls the puck at the blue line during a 5-4 Kings win over the Florida Panthers at Staples Center on February 20, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Kings star Drew Doughty expressed skepticism about the fate of the 2019-20 NHL season, which is currently on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Doughty provided his thoughts on the situation during a conference call Monday with reporters, per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski:

"I don't see how this season is going to return. I really don't. We have no idea when this virus is going to be over. We're all kind of just sitting at home, just hoping to return to the season or hoping to watch the playoffs return. But we're just sitting here, waiting, working out, being ready to return at any point.

"I think the NHL would have to make some kind of decision on that soon, and it seems like it's pretty tough to resume the season or the playoffs."

Commissioner Gary Bettman suspended play March 12 with the goal of resuming action and crowning a champion in the Stanley Cup Final.

Because their seasons overlap and the two leagues share some venues, the NBA has served as a barometer of sorts for the NHL in terms of when the pandemic has slowed enough to get games going again.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported April 3 that some inside the NBA had been discouraged by the Chinese government's decision to indefinitely suspend the return of the Chinese Basketball Association for health reasons:

Bettman acknowledged last week on Lunch Talk Live with Mike Tirico (h/t Pro Hockey Talk's Sean Leahy) the league was looking at things from every angle.

"We're looking at all options," he said. "Nothing's been ruled in, nothing's been ruled out. And it's largely going to be determined what we do by how much time there is because we have next season to focus on as well."

At the very least, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended eight-week halt to events with 50 or more people would preclude the NHL from coming back before mid-May.

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