NHL releases plan for hub cities and return to play in Toronto and Edmonton
It won't be long before the NHL season restarts with players gearing up for training camp in the coming weeks.
The league is preparing to get players back on the ice and ready to face off during a 24-team tournament starting August 1 in hub cities Edmonton and Toronto.
A number COVID-19 protocols are set to be approved by the NHL that will see strict restrictions placed on players who choose to return and subject themselves to the "bubble life," as it's been dubbed.
The Protocols for Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the NHL's Return to Play plan are impressive and extensive.— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) July 6, 2020
In total 87 pages of guidelines that the teams, and all support staff, have to follow from the time training camp opens until the Stanley Cup is presented.
Among them, no player will be penalized if he chooses to opt out and a player does not have to give a reason for wanting to opt out. Players choosing to opt out must notify their teams by Tuesday evening.
During the tournament, Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto and Western conference teams will play in Edmonton. The Stanley Cup Final will be played in Edmonton in October.
Until that time, family members of players will not be allowed to see them until the conference finals.
For the first time, we have concrete details on how the #NHL plans to pull off a 24-team #StanleyCup tournament inside two strict ‘bubbles’ in Toronto and Edmonton.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 6, 2020
Inside bubble life, testing, positive protocols, and how they could even pull the plug: https://t.co/m0lydXUrzW pic.twitter.com/eQevLKJ37W
Players will also need to practise physical distancing in many aspects of their day-to-day lives, such as on planes and buses, at restaurants and in any social circumstances.
They are also expected to live in single occupancy rooms with no roommates on designated team floors. They will not be permitted to visit each other.
Face coverings (either league issued or their own) but be worn in all "secure zones" but not while exercising.
There will be strict entry and exit access to all secure zones and everyone inside them will undergo daily testing, in addition to temperature checks and symptom screenings.
Any failure to comply with these measures may result in "significant financial penalties" and potential loss of draft picks.
Join the conversation Load comments