KHL refused the Olympic pause – Sport – Kommersant

The Continental Hockey League (KHL) still refused to play regular season matches disrupted by the January outbreak of coronavirus during the Olympic pause. In the coming weeks, the leadership of the KHL will have to puzzle over the option of finishing the season that suits the clubs and the national team, the calendar of which was broken by the pandemic.

The Kontinental Hockey League published a statement on its website that it has decided not to play regular season matches during the February Olympic pause. The championship, in which the finishing segment has already begun, was suspended in mid-January amid a powerful outbreak of coronavirus in the league. The number of infected players and club employees because of it approached two hundred.

The outbreak has quarantined several teams and caused roughly 50 matches to be disrupted.

The KHL hoped to play them by returning to the schedule, which included the end of the regular season on March 1, just during the break associated with the Beijing Olympics opening on February 4. The league abandoned this scenario, arranging a vote among the clubs and “taking into account their interests.” 16 out of 24 teams competed against him.

Understanding opponents is pretty easy. The fact is that due to the refusal of the NHL, which also survived a serious outbreak of coronavirus that broke the calendar, to allow its hockey players to play in Beijing, the KHL has become the main supplier of personnel for the leading teams. Many clubs during the pause would have to do without leaders.

The KHL has promised to come up with a format for the rest of the season after February 10. In fact, the league now faces a rather difficult task. Trying to play every regular season game on the calendar is likely to stretch the season a lot. The initial plans included its completion at the end of April. And in May, the Russian team is waiting for the World Cup in Finland. The lengthening of the season may cause at least a shortage of time to prepare for it the strongest players in the KHL.

Alexey Dospekhov

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