McCarty has seen a lot in his up-and-down life, but nothing like this
Former Wing Darren McCarty, who has seen the highs and low of life, says he feels bad for “college kids and high school kids who won’t get to play at the next level,” due to cancellations over the coronavirus. “This was their last chance to maybe make the NCAA tournament or win a state title.”
Darren McCarty has experienced a lot in his life.
His NHL career featured the highs of four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings. Then came the lows of substance abuse and the money woes that it caused.
But just like the rest of us, he’s finding the realities of the coronavirus pandemic – which has halted the NHL and NBA seasons, wiped out the NCAA Basketball Tournament and cut short virtually every other sport at every level – is something totally different.
“No,” McCarty said when asked if he had ever seen anything like the current situation before. “Nobody has. Not unless you’ve lived through a world war.”
As far as his experiences as a player, the only part of the current crisis McCarty finds familiar is the two lockouts – 1994-95 and 2004-05 – he went through during his playing career.
“But that’s nowhere near this coronavirus thing,” he said.
However, he added: “I guess it’s better safe than sorry.”
McCarty said he is certainly taking his own precautions. And he’s not panicking.
“My opinion is there’s always a middle ground,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world. You look at more than 10 years ago with SARS (2003). That was definitely more deadly.”
But he does feel bad for the college and high school athletes who have lost what may have been their last chance to compete at a high level.
“It sucks for college kids and high school kids who won’t get to play at the next level,” he said. “This was their last chance to maybe make the NCAA tournament or win a state title.”
At least the pros have future seasons in which to compete. But is this season over?
When interviewed by NHL.com, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked how far into the summer is the league winning to push the schedule.
"That's a question that I can't answer right now,” he said. "It's something that I and my senior staff are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. It's going to evolve. We're looking at all contingencies, and when the circumstances are right that we can play, then we'll look at what we can do.
"My hope is that at some point we'll get back to some normalcy, and that's not just my hope for the NHL, and it's not just my hope for all sports, it's my hope for everything that's going on."