Tag Archives: ‘disrupted’

Gary Bettman, Don Fehr concede work remains to get disrupted NHL season on track

Gary Bettman and Don Fehr finally have a chance to catch their breath.

They also know plenty of hurdles remain.

With the backdrop of a global pandemic and the potential for economic catastrophe just over the horizon, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association announced Friday the two sides had ratified the plan to resume the pandemic-halted season this summer, and agreed to a four-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement through at least September 2026.

Getting hockey back on the ice during these unprecedented times brought together two parties that have previously gone toe-to-toe in bitter labour disputes. The NHL has seen three lockouts during Bettman’s 27-year tenure as commissioner, including one that scratched the entire 2004-05 season.

But in a world where COVID-19’s impact will likely be felt for years to come, there was only one reasonable path forward.

“I wouldn’t even say it approached a negotiation,” Bettman said on a video conference call with reporters Saturday. “It was a recognition by both sides that we were being confronted with an incredibly difficult and unprecedented situation. And that to get through it, for the good of our constituents and good of the game, and for the good of our fans, we needed to work together.”

WATCH | Outlining NHL’s return plan:

CBC News’ Raffy Boudjikanian outlines the NHL’s return-to-play plan, including the decision to use Edmonton and Toronto as the two “hub cities.” 2:31

Fehr, the NHLPA’s executive director and former head of Major League Baseball’s union, said there was common understanding in the wake of the league’s shutdown on March 12.

“No one knew what the future would bring,” he said. “This wasn’t, and for all practical purposes could not be, normal collective bargaining.”

The extension to the CBA that was previously set to expire in 2022 includes a flat salary cap of US$ 81.5 million until revenues return to pre-pandemic levels, an agreement to lessen the impact of escrow — which guarantees a 50/50 split of revenues — on players, and opens the door for a return to the Olympics.

In short, it gives the NHL and NHLPA a framework to try and navigate what could be a difficult few years.

“This is probably not something that a lot of people are going to call a perfect agreement,” Fehr said. “A lot of people are going to find faults with one thing or another. That’s always the case. And I’m pretty sure there’s going to be unanticipated events and perhaps even unintended consequences.

“But I do think this agreement meets the challenge.”

Shifting focus to the return, training camps are set to open Monday for 24 teams taking part in the return-to-play plan. Those clubs will then travel to the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto on July 26 before the games begin to count Aug. 1 with as many as 52 contests in a nine-day stretch.

WATCH | 9 things you should know about the NHL deal, in 90 seconds:

The league took one step closer to returning with a tentative agreement on its return to play plan and CBA extension. Rob Pizzo breaks down the deal.  2:01

The 12 clubs from the Western Conference will be located in secure “bubbles” away from the general public in the Alberta capital, while the other dozen from the East will do the same in Canada’s largest city.

“We’re switching from one grind to another,” Bettman said. “We’ve got a lot more work to do.”

That also, somewhat surprisingly, includes ironing out a few final details with the Canadian government.

While the ink on the NHL’s return and the CBA extension is still drying, the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs both abruptly cancelled media availabilities scheduled for later Saturday.

That raised some eyebrows, since it was believed everything had already been signed off on.

“We’re buttoned down at the provincial level in Ontario and Alberta,” Bettman said. “There are still a couple of details that we’re just finalizing with the federal government.”

WATCH | NHL’s escrow, explained:

Hockey fans hear the word escrow a lot, but do they know what it actually is? Rob Pizzo explains it in simple English.  2:26

Deputy commissioner Bill Day said on the same video call that a spike in novel coronavirus cases in Las Vegas — which had long been viewed as a hub front-runner because its massive hotel complexes could be more-easily secured — was among the reasons the league eventually decided on two Canadian markets to stage its restart.

“We wanted to pick two hub cities that were really the best from a health and safety standpoint,” Daly said. “And we were concerned, given what was happening in Vegas that was not the case there.

“It certainly led into the decision we made.”

While players will be tested daily inside the bubbles, the chance of one or more positive tests remains. The league has said that wouldn’t necessarily mean shuttering the restart, and has been vague about what number would constitute an “uncontrolled outbreak” as described in its return-to-play protocol.

‘There’s no hard and fast numbers’

That didn’t really change Saturday.

“We look to our medical professionals more than anything else as to whether we’re in a high-risk situation,” Daly said. “We have to be very cognizant of player health and safety. If we have an outbreak situation, it turns into a different judgment at the end of the day. There’s no hard and fast numbers.”

After 142 days on the sidelines, the NHL is on course to return at the start of next month — on a Saturday, no less.

“I believed that we would get to this point,” Bettman said. “It was the right thing to do for the game and everybody involved.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Singapore probes drones at airport that disrupted 63 flights

Drones buzzing around Singapore’s Changi Airport have caused 63 flights to be delayed or diverted in the past week, triggering an investigation and raising questions about the motives of the offenders.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said Tuesday that 18 flights at the airport were delayed and seven were diverted the night before “due to bad weather and unauthorized drone activities.”

It had earlier confirmed drones were seen flying near the airport last Tuesday and Wednesday. That caused the intermittent closure of a runway, delaying 37 flights and diverting one arriving plane to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“A multi-agency team including the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Changi Airport Group, Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Police Force was activated for the search and locate operations,” the regulator added.

Investigations are ongoing. No details on the number of drones involved and the perpetrators have been provided by the authorities.

Shortly after news broke of the drone activity at the airport, Singapore’s defence ministry posted a photograph of a soldier pointing a jammer gun at a “rogue drone” on Facebook.

While the photo wasn’t taken at Changi, it hinted at the anti-drone technologies that may be used to track down offenders.

Drones are largely controlled by operators via a radio control link, on a frequency that’s similar to Wi-Fi. A jammer gun temporarily disables this connection.

“In absence of a control link, most drones are designed to switch into ‘fail-safe’ mode, and may either attempt to return to its original location or immediately land,” said Foong Shaohui, an associated professor who researches unmanned systems at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

“It would be possible to identify the operators by analyzing the information stored in the drone” such as pictures and flight data, he added.

More than an accident?

Some observers said the incursions, which happened on two occasions and less than a week from each other, could signal the involvement of more sophisticated groups.

Mark Yong, chief executive of Garuda Robotics, took the vast media coverage on the dangers of flying drones around the airport into account.

“Since this is a repeat event … there is a good chance that this is not an accidental airspace intrusion or an ignorant drone operator,” he said.

Unauthorized drone activity is dangerous around airports because of the risk of collision with planes that are taking off and landing.

Drones cannot be flown within five kilometres of airports or military bases in Singapore without a permit. The offence carries a maximum penalty of a year’s jail term and a fine of roughly $ 19,500 Cdn.

Changi Airport is among the world’s busiest. It handled a record 65.6 million passengers last year, but its executives have named rising fuel prices and trade tensions as challenges going forward.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News