A few NHL coaches have surprising reactions to having to wear a mask behind the bench

TSN reveals how some coaches are adding masks to their game strategy…


Back during the Return to Play plan over the summer, National Hockey League head coaches weren’t required to wear masks during games. The protocol in place in Toronto and Edmonton saw anyone inside the bubble required to wear a mask once they left their hotel rooms, but masks could be removed during exercise and play on the ice.

However, with the NHL targeting January 13th as the start date for next season with a 56-game schedule, it is believed that the NHL will change that rule, demanding that coaches wear a mask behind their team’s bench during the games. 

When senior hockey writer Frank Seravelli reached out to some head coaches to see how they felt about the possibility of having to wear a mask while coaching important games, he revealed on the air of TSN’s Insider Trading some of the surprising answers. 

“It remains to be seen exactly, the two sides are still working on protocols such as that, but I informally pulled a handful of NHL coaches today, one saying that definitely it doesn’t matter whether the protocol asks for it or not, he will be wearing a mask on the bench. And another say ‘hey you know what, it may ultimately may benefit us’ saying ‘at that point perhaps I can swear a little more off camera rather than worrying about the camera’. Some much needed humour at a time like this.”

Host Gino Red added more laughs, saying that some players will be glad to see their head coach wearing a mask, maybe getting a little more protection about pulling a bad shift on the ice. 

The NHL reported no cases of COVID-19 during the playoff tournament held in Toronto and Edmonton were many notable protocols were in place such as daily tests for COVID-19, players, staff, officials, arena ice crew, security, hotel bartenders, food service staff, arena food and beverage staff, hotel housekeeping, hotel kitchen and food prep staff, and bus drivers. 

The same protocols won’t be in place for the 2020-21 season and it’s good to see the NHL is doing everything it can to keep everyone safe.