Almost a month ago, John Shannon, former Sportsnet Canadian Hockey Man, tweeted out something that had bad intent written in between the characters.
Source confirms that the NHL is planning the private purchase of a COVID vaccine for all constituents involved in the potential upcoming season.— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) December 10, 2020
Without the added context — that he happily added a couple hours later and after all the online interactions — it suddenly appeared that the NHL was going to purchase their own private stock of the COVID-19 vaccine before anyone else could get their grubby little public hands on them. This of course lead to an entire discourse online and only made us collectively more disappointed in the league acting once again in poor taste.
Luckily for the NHL’s detractors and the general public, it appears that they have made a final decision to simply go with the flow of the available release, and the league’s personnel will be vaccinated around the same time as everyone else. The one small minor inconvenience that ends up making some professional athletes and team staff act like the regular folk, just happens to be the vaccine to the world-crushing virus.
During his media availability prior to the start of the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, commissioner Gary Bettman was able to clear the air about those rumored vaccinations.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on NHL players eventually getting vaccinated for COVID-19.— Mike McIntyre (@mikemcintyrewpg) January 11, 2021
"We're going to get in line with everybody else. There was never any thought about us jumping the line, or anything like that."
Bettman even added the somewhat devastating blow, as there was never any consideration about “jumping the line” and dealing out vaccines throughout the various hockey arenas like its smelling salts.
The one bit of information that seems to be missing though is whether or not there will be a private purchase of said vaccines. It might be just to secure the right amount for the necessary league personnel, but the “everybody else” part of that quote is still questionable. Especially with the current delays and the entire continent not being able to organize the rollout to meet their projected schedule, just weeks after the first dose was administered. I wouldn’t put it past the NHL to just grab enough vials of the vaccine with a single swipe of their overreaching hand, while the other dishes out millions for that peace of mind.
It’s a tricky situation that I am certainly not qualified to discuss at length. A few tweets and some capable memory of what really dumb people say on the internet; that’s all I can personally offer. But hey, at least we will all get vaccinated at some point in the future, including professional hockey players.