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Deep Blue Sea: 20 NHL teams sue for COVID relief

An ongoing lawsuit, plus Ritchie on waivers and Kucherov returns and more in today’s news and notes.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) takes to the ice as the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Edmonton Oilers with crowd restrictions of 1000 people allowed in the building because of surging COVID-19 cases in Ontario at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. January 5, 2022. Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

It’s no secret that the NHL has lost a substantial amount of money due to COVID-19, but leveraging a lawsuit against five insurance companies and alleging $1 billion USD in losses is due to a breach of contract is an interesting way to address it.

The lawsuit, which includes the owners of Canadian teams, US teams and the league itself state that the all-risks policies, which cover “known and, more importantly, novel, unknown risks” are meant to protect the plaintiffs (i.e., the owners) against the loss of revenue if they cannot use their insured properties — those insured properties being NHL arenas.

For context, ticket and on-site merchandise sales (jerseys, food and drink, etc.) make up a substantial amount of revenue for the league. And due to the pandemic, two years of postponed and canceled games, means that there’s been a lot of lost revenue that the league is anxious to recoup. Included in the losses — due to the inability to sell tickets or revenue built off of other fan interaction — is the money spent on public health measures, such as new air filtration systems.

The crux of the suit is that the time when NHL arenas were unusable due to the pandemic should be counted as damages to the insured properties, and therefore they should be covered under the all-risk policies.

Since the lawsuit covers 20 teams and the league and includes several different insurance companies with different policies, it’s difficult to tell how successful or unsuccessful this case will be, or how it will proceed in general.

The suit has been filed in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara.

News & Notes

  • Sharks’ James Reimer: May land on IR [CBS]
  • Ferraro returns, but Sharks’ defense in flux with Karlsson, Middleton injuries [The Mercury News]

Blood in the Water

  • Citing losses of more than $1 billion, NHL sues insurers over rejected COVID-19 claims [TSN]
  • COVID-19: Canucks among 20 NHL teams suing insurance companies over losses [The Province]
  • Tuukka Rask could return to NHL Bruins as soon as ‘next week’ [Sportsnet]
  • Why Would The Wild Want To Trade For A Defenseman? [Zone Coverage]
  • NHL winners and losers after the Christmas break [The Hockey News]
  • Maple Leafs place Nick Ritchie on waivers; William Nylander rockets up scoring leaders [Toronto Sun]
  • Kraken lose Jaden Schwartz for 4-6 weeks with hand injury [Sportsnet]
  • 2022 Olympics: NHL prospects believed to be in mix for Canada, USA rosters [Daily Faceoff]
  • Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov returns to lineup after missing 32 games [ESPN]

Scores & Recaps

Click on a team name to read a recap from their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule