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NHL gambles on getting through pandemic outside a bubble

The NHL opens its season on Wednesday with the pandemic still raging.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photo goals used by the NHL hockey club Nashville Predators are stored in a hallway in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. While sports is on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, there are surely lessons to be learned. When normality does return to our stadiums and arenas, maybe we can put them to use. Certainly, this unprecedented shutdown has changed life _ and sports _ in ways we never expected. But maybe, just maybe, that’s not entirely a bad thing. If nothing else, we’ll never get another chance for a reset like this one. Some ideas we might want to take forward when this nightmare is over: virtual drafts, eliminating conference basketball tournaments, and reducing spring training by a couple of weeks. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The NHL opens its season on Wednesday with the pandemic still raging.

It took countless hours of work and a new labor pact to do it. 

The NHL also realigned its divisions to limit travel and get around border restrictions. 

Now the league will embark on a season outside a bubble like Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA. 

Commissioner Gary Bettman expects to lose over $1 billion by playing. 

It's a gamble everyone was willing to take to play hockey during a pandemic.