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Deep Blue Sea: How soon before Sharks come home?

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Martin Jones #31 and Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks walk out onto the ice to face the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on March 8, 2020 in San Jose, California. Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks open their season tonight in Arizona, where they’ve also held their training camp due to COVID-19 regulations in Santa Clara County banning all indoor and contact sports. The team has anticipated that they may not be able to return to SAP Center during the month of January, scheduling only road games until February 1, when they’re set to meet the Vegas Golden Knights in San Jose.

Is it possible they’ll need to delay their return further?

Following the Golden Knights series, the Sharks hit the road again and aren’t scheduled at SAP Center again until February 13. It’s possible the Sharks and Golden Knights swap hosting duties to keep the Sharks away for an additional two weeks.

Even that might not be long enough. Per Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News, ICU bed availability in the Bay Area fell to a record-low 0.7 percent and would need to rise to at least 15 percent for Santa Clara County to life the current stay-at-home order.

The team will meet with county officials next Tuesday.

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