TORONTO (AP) — The NHL is hoping to move to Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol, including the opening of practice facilities and allowing small group workouts, early next month.
The league, which was forced to pause its season on March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, released a 22-page memo detailing the plan Monday. The document stresses there’s no exact date for the start of Phase 2 or a timetable for how long it will last.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 25, 2020
Only six players will be allowed in team facilities at one time for the voluntary workouts, and no on-ice coaching or instruction is permitted.
On-ice sessions will be non-contact and players will be expected to maintain physical distancing at all times. Players will be required to wear masks when entering and exiting facilities and when not able to physically distance, except for when they’re practicing/exercising.
- Wolf Administration Drafting Guidelines To Pave Return Of Sports
- Pittsburgh Penguins Vote ‘Yes’ To Return-To-Play Format Featuring 24-Team Playoff
- NHL Players’ Association Expected To Vote On 24-Team Playoff Proposal As Return To Play Format
- ‘There Simply May Not Be Enough Time’ For NBA, NHL Seasons To Restart Amid Coronavirus Fears, Warns Sports Economist
- NHL Postpones Draft Amid Continuing Coronavirus Pandemic
- Coronavirus Changes: NHL Postpones Draft, Scouting Combine, Awards Show
The final two phases of the return-to-play protocol — training camps followed by a resumption of play — were not mentioned in the memo.
The NHL/NHL Players’ Association Return to Play Committee has been hashing out details of what the game will look like if it’s allowed to return this summer. The union’s executive board approved further negotiations on a 24-team format Friday.
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)