Unvaccinated hockey life will be perfectly miserable, as it should be

While vaccinated players hit the bars, unvaxxed have the minibar

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It’ll be a tale of two lives for the vaxxed (l) and unvaxxed in the NHL.
It’ll be a tale of two lives for the vaxxed (l) and unvaxxed in the NHL.
Illustration: Shutterstock

AThe NHL apparently is not fucking around for the upcoming season when it comes to vaccinations. A memo went out last night that outlines what will be different this season for players who are vaccinated and those who are not.

Vaccinated players are going to be allowed to have something of a back-to-normal experience, and only have to be tested every three days. They can go out to eat, they can hit the bars, too. Meanwhile, unvaccinated players can only go from hotel to arena on the road, and can’t associate with anyone outside their household at home.

But the real kicker is that teams can suspend unvaccinated players when they miss team activities due to the virus, and any time spent away from the team on a COVID list will see them not get paid. They will also be tested every day.


It makes sense the NHL would take such harsh measures for players to be vaccinated, because it was the only league where it was strongly suspected to have on-ice transmission of the virus during actual games. The NBA had their issues, but sidelining of players due to interactions with opponents that tested positive was more due to close contact than testing positive. The NHL clearly is going to do everything it can to lessen the chance that players will be passing the virus to each other in the corners. And if you think hockey players watching their teammates head to the bars on the road without them won’t spur them to get vaccinated, you clearly haven’t run across too many hockey players.

The NHL isn’t mandating that players get vaccinated, but it’s doing everything just short of that to make those who hold out have a rough existence during the season. Which...good for them. Enough of this bullshit.