Nic Dowd has concerns about the NHL's neutral site plan both as a player and as a new dad

J.J. Regan
NBC Sports Washington

With the world still dealing with the novel coronavirus and the NHL season on pause, one thing has become abundantly clear: There is no perfect plan to resume and finish the season. It just doesn't exist. Every plan that the league may consider comes with numerous challenges and issues. That is true of the latest plan being considered by the league of NHL teams gathering in four different cities by division to resume play.

Capitals forward Nic Dowd and his wife, Paige, joined Rob Carlin on an episode of the Capitals Talk Podcast released Friday to discuss Dowd's Crowd, their charitable venture that provides children with autism the chance to attend Caps games.

With reports of the new plan surfacing Wednesday, Dowd was asked his thoughts.

"There's so many rumors out there, it's challenging to sift through them all, but just looking at what would possibly work is that you could potentially put multiple teams in the same city into a hotel basically," Dowd said. "I don't know how else they would do it. And then you would have to structure the practices and the games to where they don't overlap. It would be interesting from a hockey perspective because I think they're going to have to structure those games differently than a seven-game series because you still have the time. And then on top of it, I don't know how we would get in shape. It's been a month now running, a month and half of no skating which is a lot of time."

Those are Dowd's concerns from a hockey player's perspective. But he also has had a new perspective since Dec. 31, and that one is weighing heavy on his mind as well.


This plan would require players to essentially be away from their families for the rest of the season/postseason in order to isolate them and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That would be a significant challenge for the Dowd's, who welcomed their first child, Louie, on Dec. 31.

"It would suck, it would be a lot of work," Dowd said. "It would stick Paige in a home essentially by herself which she has done, but being here I know how much work that is and it's brutal."

Dowd added, "We're going to be back in Minnesota soon so I know she will have a support system there which she doesn't have here so that's beneficial, but, saying that, we're not supposed to be around anybody so it's not like she's reaching out to family all the time and they're coming over all the time and stuff like that. It would be really hard."

And it's not as if Dowd is the only player in the NHL to have a kid. That's just one example among the hundreds of NHL players who would face similar challenges.

"Think about the people that have multiple kids that are older or they're European or they have to come back in the country," Dowd said.

While Dowd had numerous concerns, he also expressed optimism that the league and the NHLPA would be able to come up with the best deal possible to continue the season. Such cooperation between the two sides has been difficult to find at times in the past, but in this case both the NHL and players' association want the same thing, and that is to eventually continue the season and award the Stanley Cup.

Said Dowd, "It's going to be a means to an end, but it will not be perfect."

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Nic Dowd has concerns about the NHL's neutral site plan both as a player and as a new dad originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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