That light at the end of the tunnel for live content-starved Canadian sports fans may just be a TV screen showing re-runs for a while yet.
The two traditional summer pastimes of the Canadian Football League and the Blue Jays, the out-of-season NHL and NBA, must proceed with the utmost caution.
NHL: A 24-team playoff tournament is planned to start late July, training camps July 10. 11 players among the league’s first 200 COVID-19 tests that were conducted at voluntary practices were positive. The American Hockey League and Canadian junior leagues canceled the rest of their currents seasons.
NBA: The Raptors are in Fort Myers, Fla., training for the coming back of regular season in Orlando Aug. 1 play against the Lakers. If the state’s growing COVID crisis doesn’t intervene, the 22 participating teams will have eight seeding games.
CFL: No games until at least September and maybe just eight before playoffs. Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said last week that they are working hard every day to find a way to come back in 2020. Non-player football operations and league executives with the exception of Toronto have made 20 percent pay cuts.
MLB: A 60-game season is planned to start July 23-24 with training camps July 1. The Blue Jays hope that teams visiting Toronto get the same quarantine latitude since the NHL has granted American teams.
Super League Rugby: The transatlantic Toronto Wolfpack starts its season Aug. 2 in England.
MLS: The Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps are scheduled to open the ‘MLS Is Back’ tournament at Orlando on July 9. Toronto FC has already been there to train, with early starts each day planned for games in order to avoid the worst of the Florida heat.
Horse racing: At Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, handles are up and industry people are making money again. Spectators are not allowed to attend, but TSN is doing a Racing Night Live show, with standardbreds from Mohawk and thoroughbreds from nearby Woodbine. It has been a while since the sport was on a major network.