With the NHL giving teams permission to return to facilities for voluntary small group training sessions as of Monday, we’re seeing how various clubs are handling the arrival of Phase 2.
From what we know, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers should be good to go Monday. There’s always a chance they can’t meet the medical protocol put forth by the league, but there are no indications right now to suggest that’s the case.
The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets, however, are not go for launch come the start of the week.
According to team reps, “lack of interest” is the reason for not returning. There are no Winnipeg Jets in the area right now and only two of the Montreal Canadiens are in town. They are said to be working on off-ice training.
That said, it looks like Montreal could open their facilities for training by Thursday.
In these times, there are no sure things. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated that teams will have to make up their own minds as to how to proceed. The voluntary nature of Phase 2 means that we’ll probably see a lot of variance in how this plays out.
Nobody is under any requirement to return to play “quickly,” either, but it’s believed that all teams in the playoff play-in format will be on the ice in some way, shape or form by the time Phase 3 gets underway. We won’t see that until July 10 at the earliest.
The process will be a gradual one and many players will opt to continue training where they currently are. With plenty of NHLers still in Europe or in their respective hometowns across Canada and the United States, it’s clear nobody’s in any big rush to get back to it – especially given the overall lack of certainty.
Anyone involved in returning to facilities in Phase 2 will be given a laboratory-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test 48 hours before they can get down to brass tacks. It’s expected that tests will be administered twice a week, while temperature checks will be done daily.