The NHL, despite the Dallas Stars’ issues, is more positioned to succeed than the NBA

With the Mavericks announcing five players out due to NBA health and safety protocols, the Stars stepped up and said, “Hold my beer.”

On the eve of what was supposed to be the season opener for the defending Western Conference champions, the Stars are without 17 players who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks. While the Mavericks managed to take enough healthy bodies (got to have eight) to Charlotte on Wednesday, the Stars’ first three games have been postponed. The earliest they could begin the season is Tuesday against Tampa Bay, the team that stopped them from hoisting a second Stanley Cup champions banner.

“We told guys the first day of camp that because of COVID, there was a good chance everyone was going to get to play,” coach Rick Bowness said. “We’ve got to get used to some of these guys. We don’t know them very well.”

The team is also without center Tyler Seguin and goaltender Ben Bishop, who won’t be around for months following offseason surgery. And yet…

Even with all of the above, I think the NHL is better equipped than the NBA to handle what lies ahead in second seasons derailed by the coronavirus. Both were successful last summer in finding different ways to isolate players and stage playoffs in empty arenas.

But you can’t realistically “bubble” an entire season, so both leagues are attempting something a bit more like business…

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