The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs are definitely going to be a weird viewing experience for NHL fans, as the games that usually feature some of the loudest, most passionate crowds in sports will instead be played in empty arenas.
That said, there are some things that could potentially add to the broadcasts, such as capturing more sound from the ice so fans can hear more interaction between players.
There could obviously be some concerns with that from players, as it opens up the possibility of picking up something that can't be aired or that might get a player in trouble. But speaking to the media on a Zoom call Tuesday afternoon, Bruins defenseman John Moore said he'd actually welcome greater access to players and more natural sound from the ice.
"I wasn't a big fan before this of the UFC, but I saw the first fight with no fans, and you really got an appreciation. You heard everything," Moore said. "It added an element to watching it. It added an element of appreciation for the art of it all. I think a big part of this is going to be the presentation on a media and entertainment level to try to attract the most viewers we can.
"I think it would be great for the sport if there's increased microphones, cameras, what have you, that can deliver a better product to people who otherwise may have wanted to be in the stadium. You think of a guy like (Brad Marchand), he might win an Emmy with some of the stuff they might pick up with him. I'm all for it."
One aspect of this return that does concern Moore, though, is the possibility of being away from his family for several months if families aren't allowed to join players in hub cities. Moore has two young daughters and is hoping he doesn't have to be away from them for the whole postseason.
"It's something that's been talked about through the (NHLPA)," Moore said. "It's a real concern for a lot of guys. You'd hate for something to happen and your family couldn't join you. Obviously everyone's health and safety is a priority right now. We hope somehow they could join us, but if not, this is a sacrifice that no one really saw coming. It's an opportunity to go compete for a Stanley Cup. You just hope everything will be good at home. God forbid something were to happen. The Bruins have been unbelievable in terms of making sure that not just players, but families too are well accounted for medically. You have full faith in them and the systems in place, and heaven forbid something did happen, they would be taken care of."
Moore and his family have remained in Boston throughout this quarantine period, and he's one of the Bruins that has returned to the ice at Warrior Ice Arena over the past week as the Bruins have been allowed to begin voluntary limited workouts.
Moore has been in a three-man group with Zdeno Chara and Par Lindholm, and he explained what it's been like to get back to skating for the first time in three months, noting that he has some experience coming back from a long layoff given that he missed the first two months of the season after offseason shoulder surgery.
"Unfortunately I've had a little bit of practice with this, being off for an extended period of time following my surgery," Moore said. "I tried to lean on that experience. Temper your expectations the first time you're out because it feels like you're wearing someone else's equipment, and understand there's a process to returning and building back up to where you were. Being really focused on what I want to accomplish from a day-to-day standpoint and feeling good about yourself with each and every skate.
"I've been skating with Par and Zdeno, and every day, the night before we'll get together and devise a practice plan with three of us, what we want out of each skate. That focus has been really good for the three of us and we've gotten a lot out of the skates so far."