After almost three months with out hockey, the NHL has lastly moved one step nearer to getting again on the ice.
The league introduced Thursday night time that Part 2 of its deliberate return will start Monday, June 8. The announcement follows the launch of a 22-page doc in Could that offered an in depth set of tips that should be adhered to for groups to reopen their amenities.
“The NHL has labored carefully with the NHLPA and the Gamers on the Resumption of Play Committee in establishing the framework for this phased strategy,” it learn, “and has additionally developed this strategy with the enter of NHL medical, epidemiology and infectious illness specialists in addition to Membership medical personnel.”
Here is all the pieces we all know thus far about Part 2 of the NHL’s return.
When will NHL gamers be allowed to return to the ice?
On Thursday night time, the NHL introduced it is going to start Part 2 on June 8, permitting staff amenities to reopen in a restricted style starting Monday.
Nonetheless, not each participant will probably be allowed again on the ice without delay. The rules solely permit for small gatherings of as much as six gamers, together with a restricted variety of membership employees, to have interaction in voluntary, particular person coaching actions.
What hockey actions will probably be allowed on the ice?
Gamers will probably be allowed to take part in non-contact skating drills with all coaches and different employees having to stay off the ice. Coaches and members of hockey operations will have the ability to watch these periods as soon as a coaching camp is introduced or after two weeks of Part 2, whichever comes later. They can’t have in-person interactions with the gamers.
The period of time given to every participant for skating observe will probably be divided equally inside every small group of six. After they’re not on the ice, gamers will probably be allowed to make use of the train and weight rooms to carry out weight coaching (that does not require the usage of a spotter), cardio, endurance coaching and rehab for gamers who’re coping with accidents.
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All staff members will probably be required to observe social distancing by sustaining a six-foot distance between themselves and others, the one exception being medical employees serving to gamers rehab accidents.
Contained in the constructing, gamers may even must put on masks every time they are not actively exercising, whereas different employees members should put on masks always. Trainers and physiotherapists should additionally put on gloves when interacting with gamers.
All amenities will probably be totally cleaned at the beginning of every day, the tip of every day and in between coaching periods.
How will gamers journey again to their staff’s metropolis?
The NHL is dealing with one in every of its greatest complications attempting to get all its gamers again to their respective staff cities.
As a result of the league allowed all gamers to return residence when the season was paused, numerous gamers will now must journey from abroad and cross worldwide borders.
Chad Wolf, appearing secretary for USA homeland safety, points exemption for some skilled athletes and their employees and dependents to enter the nation. This contains ATP & WTA gamers. Helps re-open the door to staging tournaments later this yr, together with maybe US Open pic.twitter.com/Svi4nW9HSI
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) Could 23, 2020
Sure nations, reminiscent of Canada, are requiring a compulsory 14-day self-quarantine for anybody who has arrived from overseas. The league would require gamers to abide by these guidelines, and likewise acknowledged that “even when not imposed by the native well being authorities, such people returning to the Membership’s residence metropolis by public transportation, together with business air or rail journey, should serve a 14-day self-quarantine interval post-travel earlier than partaking in coaching actions at their Membership’s facility.”
In the interim, no participant will probably be required to journey again to their staff’s metropolis to be able to participate in coaching actions.
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Will NHL gamers be examined for COVID-19?
In accordance with the rules, all gamers and staff employees will be examined 48 hours previous to returning to the staff amenities, with outcomes coming again inside 24 hours. No staff member will probably be allowed again till they’ve acquired a confirmed damaging check. If potential, the league really helpful that groups proceed to check their gamers at the very least twice weekly.
The memo did notice that each one testing “should be completed within the context of extra testing capability, in order to not deprive well being care staff, weak populations and symptomatic people from essential diagnostic checks.” It additionally acknowledged that widespread testing on that scale is probably not accessible for each staff. In that case, all gamers should endure a 14-day self-quarantine, no matter whether or not they’re exhibiting signs, earlier than returning to observe.
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All gamers and employees may even be required to carry out day by day temperature and symptom checks at their properties earlier than they depart for the staff facility and likewise as quickly as they arrive. Anybody with a temperature over 99.5º F (37.5° C) is not going to be given entry to the ability.
The NHL’s announcement Thursday night time got here simply hours after the Pittsburgh Penguins introduced on Twitter that an unnamed participant had examined constructive for COVID-19.
It’s the ninth confirmed constructive check amongst NHL gamers, with 5 Ottawa Senators and three Colorado Avalanche gamers receiving constructive check outcomes throughout the previous few months. The Pittsburgh participant is reportedly “recovered and feeling nicely”.
What occurs if a staff does not observe the foundations?
The memo makes it clear that this can be a strictly voluntary alternative for the gamers.
Due to this fact, it signifies that any groups failing to adjust to the tips will probably be topic to extreme punishment, together with fines or the lack of draft picks.
How lengthy will NHL Part 2 final?
It is unclear for now, but it surely’s protected to imagine it will likely be till at the very least the tip of June.
The subsequent step, Part 3, is anticipated to consist of coaching camp, and an enormous variety of gamers are going to be pressured to self-quarantine for 14 days earlier than returning to observe in any capability throughout Part 2.
With the postseason anticipated to stretch into July, August and doubtless even September — if it may be accomplished in any respect — it is going to virtually definitely be greater than a month earlier than the league severely considers hitting the ice for a return to aggressive hockey.