The makeup of the NHL trade deadline could change if the Canadian government updates its quarantine protocol.
There’s word as of Thursday afternoon that the government could update its quarantine protocol for all players entering the country. According to the CBC’s David Cochrane, the government may approve a seven-day quarantine. That would update the current 14-day quarantine for players entering Canada.
According to the CBC’s report, all Canadian provinces with NHL clubs have signed off on the change.
The seven-day quarantine would involve extra testing for COVID-19.
The ruling would also change the way some NHL clubs approach the trade deadline, as Canadian teams have been operating under the 14-day quarantine and may have been reluctant to pull the trigger on trades because of a veritable two-week wait for players.
The Winnipeg Jets were subject to that two-week hold when they traded for Pierre-Luc Dubois earlier in the season. The forward didn’t get cracking in Winnipeg until February 9, while Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic were on the pond for the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier.
Also, Dubois suffered an injury not long after returning to the ice after quarantine. Some have attributed that to the longer layoff.
Teams in Canada have been unofficially using the Dubois situation as a metric for evaluating potential trades with American clubs, but this move to a week-long quarantine would alter that approach and open the doors for more trades come April 12.
For teams on the playoff bubble in the North, time is of the essence and some decisions will be made at the last minute. Easing quarantine regulations can fundamentally change how clubs approach the deadline, especially if their status is uncertain ahead of the post-season.
The NHL, as of press time, says it’s unaware of any changes to the federal quarantine requirements.