Toronto relaxes COVID-19 rink rules as winter activities move ‘toward normal’
After weeks of waiting, the Metrodome is now open, allowing spectators to watch a hockey game from the seats of the Dome, despite an ever-changing series of circumstances.
The Dome is also the home arena for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are set to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night in a pre-season game (preseason games have been canceled for the time being).
But while the hockey scene in the city is moving toward “normalcy,” there are still a handful of things to keep an eye on, including the fate of the NHL’s ongoing labour squabble. The last day of the regular season is approaching, and while it’s likely everyone will be back to school, there will still be games to be played. The NHL, meanwhile, hasn’t decided its next move.
“We do appreciate the patience of our fans and hockey fans across the country,” league commissioner Gary Bettman said following the final day of the season. “We will keep fans updated as we move forward on their decisions and work toward a resolution to this labor dispute.”
With the conclusion of the regular season, many of the changes in the past few weeks will be put to rest, at least temporarily. For the Leafs, the biggest change was the move to a preseason game instead of a regular-season contest.
“We’re looking forward to getting out playing together for the first time,” said Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, who is back in Toronto but for a day this week so he can prepare for the first game back in training camp.
And while the Maple Leafs will be missing their captain for the game, they don’t have any long-term concerns as of yet — not with their depth on the roster.
Maple Leafs star defenseman Dion Phaneuf is back in Toronto for the first time in a year after a summer spent overseas.
“Just to get out, play some