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NHL issues 'Phase 2' guidelines of return-to-play efforts

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

Expecting to permit its players to return to team facilities in the coming weeks, the NHL on Monday issued a 21-page memo to its teams and players laying out guidelines that will be in place for Phase 2 of the return-to-play protocol.

In Phase 2, which the memo said will be "strictly voluntary," players will be allowed to skate in small groups. The vast majority of players have not been on the ice since the season was suspended March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines would allow for a maximum of six players at a time to train at the team facility. On-ice workouts would be for players only, so no coaches or team personnel will be allowed on the ice, though they can observe in person.

The memo said goalies will be allowed to hire an independent goalie coach to work with on a one-on-one basis. That coach cannot be a team employee.

Players must wear face coverings, except when skating or exercising off ice.

If tests are available in their city, players and club personnel will be required to be tested for the coronavirus 48 before returning to the team facility. If not, they must prove they self-quarantined in that city for at least two weeks.

 

After that, if possible, they would then be tested twice a week going forward.

"As an overriding principle, testing of asymptomatic players and club personnel must be done in the context of excess testing capacity, so as to not deprive health care workers, vulnerable populations and symptomatic individuals from necessary diagnostic tests," stressed the NHL, with testing limited in some areas.

The guidelines also said players and club personnel must "record symptoms and conduct temperature checks" daily, before arriving at a team facility.

If you want to spend Memorial Day reading the full memo, here you go.

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