While Darren Dreger announced on Tuesday that the NHL was now aiming for late May to kick off Phase 2 in the plan for play to resume this summer, he also mentioned that if the league does eventually return to the ice to finish off the 2019-20 season, teams won’t be getting an unfair advantage in regards to training.
“The NHL is hopeful that they will be able to initiate Phase 2 in later May, but that’s all subject to a review and it is too early to start the review process. The NHL though is encouraged by the markets that are loosening up and are cautiously optimistic, and monitoring carefully to see if there will be any setbacks. The modo is Better safe, then sorry.
Phase 2 can’t really get started the large majority of the NHL teams are able to open up and that means players coming back. But here’s an interesting twist to all that: even though the majority of clubs may be able to open up, unless they can all about up at the same time or around the same time, the NHL isn’t going to allow players to go to their clubs’ facility again. Until the majority are able to do that.”
With different guidelines set in place throughout North America for the COVID-19 pandemic, certain teams may be given the green light from their local government before others to return to work. And that does not work for the NHL.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that NHL players would not be exempt from the current strict quarantine policies if they enter the country. The borders between Canada and the United States remain closed.
This could have a huge impact on the league’s efforts to resume play in the summer.