I noted in our last report that we would offer updates about the COVID-19 report when we got them. And, there’s been an update about our previous report where NHLTradeTalk.com had named a specific Toronto Maple Leafs player who had been reported to have contracted COVID-19 in Arizona.

Here’s what we now know that has happened since. Hockey insider Chris Johnston, released the following tweet.

In addition, there’s been some pushback from another source. John Steitzer from The Leafs Nation has suggested that – as the title notes – “Unethical reporting from Steve Simmons leads to speculation on a possible Leafs COVID-19 case.”

So, since we shared the report, we have these two statements (at least). One by Sportsnet’s Johnston and the next from another Maple Leafs-related media source that criticizes Simmons for being “unethical” in his reporting. The Maple Leafs in their statement didn’t discount anything in Simmons’ report – nor did the person critiquing Simmons.

In fact, no one said that Simmons wasn’t accurate or was lying about the story. That leaves us to believe it was accurate. Still, perhaps Simmons was too anxiously generating the truth for some another reason – like click-bait. If the case is being made that one should do the right thing in the right way, I agree.

Anyway, our note here with this update is not to valorize or demonize any of those who reported the Maple Leafs news. Still, Simmons identified a specific player he had heard had been infected by COVID-19. And, you will note that I have not re-identified that player here.

Why Did NHLTradeTalk.com Post the COVID-19 Report?

In truth, and I am speaking only for myself, I’m not sure how I feel about whether or not a player should be named. I wrote the original post because (1) I thought it was news that impacted the Maple Leafs and (2) I also wrote the post to call to question whether recent history (I mean the last week) has given us all a reason to stop right now and reconsider the NHL’s current course of action towards re-starting the NHL’s 2019-20 season. Specifically, will the plan cause human harm.

For those who read my post, I noted that perhaps the recent COVID-19 diagnosis had made further conversations now more medical questions (about the health of humans) instead of revenue questions (about the wealth of humans).

What Else Is Going on Here?

These back and forth debates about ethical vs. unethical give me another thought. I’ve come to believe we think that catching the COVID-19 virus is somehow something one should be ashamed of. Obviously, if one were cavalier about one’s health, took no precautions, and flaunted his freedom and then – go figure – was infected, that’s one story. But indications were that the player in question was doing the right things by self-quarantining and being careful.

Although I don’t know for sure otherwise, it was, according to reports, when a group of NHL hockey players around Phoenix and also around the Tampa Bay area in Florida (and both Coyotes players and Lightning players were infected as well the reports suggest) began to engage Phase 2 of the NHL’s re-start plan that the infection occurred.

Insofar as I can tell, the players were not at fault. They were doing exactly what they were supposed to do. That is, they were following the NHL’s Phase 2 plan. I won’t follow that logical trail any further about any fault.

Here at NHLTradeTalk.com, we have also reported other sad medical news and we named the person and the disease. For example, we wrote a number of posts about Dale Hawerchuk’s (so far) successful battle with stomach cancer. We also wrote a number of posts about Colby Cave and the colloid cyst that caused his death.

In neither case did these reports seem questionable or violate a player’s privacy. How can we be quiet when there’s news about people we have come to care about – even as fans.

There seems to be something about COVID-19 that for some reason seems secretive and almost dirty. And, I don’t that should be the case.

Where Are We Now?

I have come to believe that it might be time, given what we have learned about the health risks involved with the planned Phase 2 of the NHL re-start, we simply need to take some time to figure this out. This isn’t a flip flop, it’s what smart people do when they receive new evidence.