Updated: Sep 18, 2022
By Jacob Erlbaum
As the new year approached, the NBA began its season and the NHL prepared for their January 13th start date. While both leagues hoped to complete their seasons without any cancellations, it’s without question that postponements were expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to January 31st, the NBA postponed 22 games, while the NHL had to postpone only a few -- most notably, due to one major outbreak in the Dallas Stars who had 17 players test positive for COVID-19 prior to the season, causing them to miss three games. While their respective seasons carry on, the obstacles the leagues face will remain and they will continue to adjust as need be. In the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies had an outbreak that caused them to miss several games, and, turning back to the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers experienced an outbreak that postponed four of their games. But the question that needs to be asked is as follows: In spite of all the postponements, have their respective seasons been successful?
Ultimately, to have a season at all in the midst of a global pandemic is a success in and of itself. Of course for the leagues to finish their seasons would be a great accomplishment and ultimately that is the expectation, but we still have to appreciate the basic reality that we are able to watch sports every night, because it could be gone in the blink of an eye. So yes, the fact that they are playing at all has been incredible, but if they finish their seasons in July as planned, that will be the cherry on top for an already successful effort in the NHL and NBA.