I’ve had genuine dreams about the NHL returning to play games again – they used to entail the Leafs making a dramatic playoff run through Boston and Tampa, but now a 10pm snoozer against Anaheim would be enough to get me excited. While details remain pretty sparse, the league has formed a Return to Play Committee to discuss what resuming play would look like, and rumors have swirled of possible locations and guidelines for the new normal.

The problem is a complex one for the NHL, which has teams playing in 18 different locales, meaning 18 different plans and restrictions for reopening. This is besides the fact that the leaders in America and Canada have different ideas about bringing sports back (you can take a guess who is on the more cautious side).

Given the state of affairs and the variance in impact from the coronavirus by geography, a future return could look vastly different from what we’re used to. Below is a chart of cases as of May 4th by State and Province – giving you of an idea of the differences.

*Please make note of the log scale used for the y axis values (100 -> 1,000 -> 100,000)


Data is from John Hopkins University.

-Mackinaw Stats