According to a 22-page memorandum released Monday, the NHL will begin the second phase of resuming team activities “in early June.”
Under new regulations introduced in the ongoing COVID 19 epidemic, the NHL will allow teams to re-open training facilities in their hometowns for voluntary training activities without leaving six players and a limited number of club staff. Players should be in the same small group throughout the entire stage.
“You can see some light at the end of the tunnel to begin with,” said Jarmo Kelalinen, general manager of Blue Jackets.
According to the memo, in compliance with all local health policies and restrictions, teams are instructed not to return to their hometowns to assist players who do not live in the city where their teams play back.
Players returning to their team city by public transport or returning from a high-risk environment must complete a 14-day self-matching period before participating in team facility activities.
Also, players seeking refuge for a player they are not playing for may request access to the weight room for the convenience of the team for skating and use. Last week, NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman said 1 17% of the league’s players currently live outside of North America.
Prior to participating in the team activities, all partner teams are tested 48 hours prior to entry for team facilities, provided that the test does not take into account any resources required for “public testing.”
The NHL is in the process of establishing a general test solution. If no test is available, all players must isolate themselves for 14 days. The memo indicates that players are tested at least twice a week if possible.
If a player tests positive in the second stage, “one or more individual cases of COVID-19 do not require extensive quarantine,” the memo says.
At the beginning of the second phase, players are allowed to skate without contact without a coach or club staff, strength training without spotters, cardio training, strength training and rehabilitation after injury.
Coaches and hockey staff may follow the skating to a later date when the start of the training camp is announced by the NHL or when the second episode ends.
Players must always wear face masks on the team, excluding practice or out of the ice.
The memo contains logs for cleaning and disinfection throughout the facility. Each team must appoint a “Club Facility Hygiene Officer” who is responsible for complying with the second step protocol.
While no exact start date or probable duration for the start of the season was mentioned in the memo before the start of the second phase on stage, it is expected that the training camp will be reopened before the season resumes.
The memo said, “We have been monitoring the improvement of the club’s individual market and can adjust the overall time after discussions with all relevant parties.”
The first episode was extended several times after the March 12 interruption of the season and the players were asked to set themselves apart.
The Return to Play Committee, formed by the NHL and Players Union, has detailed what the game will look like when it returns this summer. Late last week, the union’s board approved further negotiations for the 24-team playoffs, which will be held instead of the regular season that ended.
When the NHL returns this summer, teams will be expected to form teams in “hub” cities across North America, and games will be held in empty arenas.
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