May 27, 2020

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Doors open for pros

Hi, gang.

So, the Manitoba government has issued some very positive news Thursday, announcing it's nearly ready to roll out Phase 2 of the re-opening of the province — a province, it's worth noting again and again and again, that has done a tremendous job of "flattening the curve" during the COVID-19 crisis.

And one of the elements of that next phase is giving Winnipeg's pro teams, the Jets, Bombers, Goldeyes and Valour FC, the OK to begin training and practising again, as of this morning.

Now, all four clubs stated they're not in a position to make that happen, at least not now. But the doors are open, and it's likely only a matter of time before someone — maybe a Winnipeg-based Jets player like Nathan Beaulieu — takes advantage of a free rink at the Iceplex to wheel around for an hour, assuming the NHL also offers its approval.

There's also a chance youth sports could get going in a few weeks, although the organizers of team sports like soccer, softball, baseball and footfall will first have to figure out how to keep clusters of young athletes within a safe distance. Good luck with that.

Enjoy your Friday, folks.

— Assistant sports editor Jason Bell


Our coverage

  • CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

    CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

    CFL needs to get financial house in order: Pandemic exposes troubling state of affairs
  • Let 'er rip, 'tater chip: Province gives green light for local pro teams to resume practices

You might also want to know

  • Shane Lowry competes on the European Tour.

    Shane Lowry competes on the European Tour.

    Serious allegations: An NFL player has launched a lawsuit against United Airlines, alleging he was harassed and sexually assaulted by a female passenger during a flight.
  • Bubble boys: The European golf tour is proposing a shortened schedule, with all events played in a U.K. 'bubble.'
  • Sabres suing: Buffalo's NHL squad is arguing in a lawsuit that federal immigration officials wrongly denied a petition by the teams to secure a green card for its British-born strength and conditioning coach.

What we're reading

  • Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs could be a first-round matchup if the NHL returns to Stanley Cup playoff action this year.

    Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs could be a first-round matchup if the NHL returns to Stanley Cup playoff action this year.

    Who's gonna win?: Leafs would battle the Blue Jackets in opening-round series, if the NHL goes to a proposed 24-team playoff format. (Sportsnet)
  • Bizarre playoffs of past: The NHL's scheme to possibly go with a couple of dozen teams in the post-season is just one of many weird playoff formats. (The Hockey News)
  • Dangerous hoop hoopla: As the NBA moves closer to a return to action, huge, undeniable risks remain owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In case you missed it

  • Akim Aliu published a personal essay earlier this week titled Hockey Is Not For Everyone.

    Akim Aliu published a personal essay earlier this week titled Hockey Is Not For Everyone.

    CFL eyeing September: It's far from a guarantee but league commissioner Randy Ambrosie has suggest an abbreviated season could begin in September.
  • Putting it on paper: Former NHL prospect Akim Aliu pens scathing essay on state of toxic hockey culture. FP columnist Mike McIntyre weighs in.
  • Weekly podcast: FP sport editor Steve Lyons and columnist Mike McIntyre discuss several topics, including whether the return of sports is essential to society and what kind of drastic rule changes might be required to keep participants safe.

Scheduling notes

  • No major announcements on Thursday. See the full list of sports closures and cancellations and the latest look at potential season restarts on our website.
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