On Monday, the National Hockey League provided an update to its teams, players, management, coaches, fans and staff on the outlook for the upcoming weeks/months. After originally announcing that the league would suspend play indefinitely late last week, the NHL and the NHL Players Association outlined some new guidelines in a brief update.
Four major points of concern were addressed, with emphasis on information as to players’ whereabouts, safe self-quarantine practices, individual/team training, as well as schedule resumption.
The league announced that as of Monday, players would be allowed to travel back to their home cities/countries for the time being, wherever that may be – as opposed to staying in the home city of their respective NHL club, which had been the initial directive from the league to team owners in a conference call Thursday afternoon.
Players should, however, continue with the self-quarantine phase within their homes through March 27. If a longer self-quarantine mandate is required (due to out of country/continent travel) the affected player should adhere to municipal/federal guidelines extending past the initial March 27 date.
Should a player, coach, trainer or team staff member feel any sort of symptom of illness, they are to immediately report all updates or testing results to team doctors/medical staff.
With the league on hiatus, players are being advised to stay away from public training centres, while conducting workouts and training at home. Team facilities are off limits, while individual training is being advised during this quarantine period.
“Depending on world developments between now and then, consideration will be given to allowing the opening of club facilities to players in scheduled and coordinated small groups for voluntary training and care of the players on same basis as in the off-season.”
The league plans to host a ‘training camp’ of sorts once the COVID-19 pandemic is lessened. Whether that is a full-fledged two-week break in period or just 5-10 days in duration, the plan is to resume hockey roughly 45-60 days into the directive ordered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further updates will be scheduled and continuing from the league and the Players Association in the coming days/weeks.