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NHL Extends Self-Quarantine Period; Delays Combine, Awards, & Draft
By Michael Walters
The NHL held a conference call with the league General Managers on Tuesday, March 24th.
There was a discussion about how to finish the season, playoff format, draft, free agency, etc. There were plenty of questions about all of the topics discussed, but not many answers, at least not yet.
The NHL did instruct players and team staff to self-quarantine for an additional 10 days. Originally players were to self-quarantine until this Friday, March 27th but that has now been extended to Monday, April 6th.
To date, two players are known to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, both from the Ottawa Senators. The goal is to extend the self-quarantine time period to see if any other players show signs or symptoms of the virus. Reports vary, but symptoms of the virus may take a few days to appear instead of right away.
The plan initially was to put a halt to the season temporarily with the hope it could resume in 3-4 weeks in mid-April. The NHL would like the players to be able to practice again voluntarily at team facilities after the self-quarantine period “depending on world developments.” According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the NHL has asked teams which buildings would be available through the month of August.
The objective is to “provide high-level guidance on the potential of opening a training camp period roughly 45 days into a 60-day window provided by the Centers for Disease Control(CDC).” The 45-day mark will come on April 30th and will be used as a check-in time to see if there is enough information to determine when a training camp could be held according to the NHL.
In case you missed it, below is the update from the NHL that was released on March 16th.
In addition to maintaining the health of everyone, the league has two more goals in mind. First, to award the Stanley Cup this season and second to still have a full-season for 2020-21.
The NHL is looking at various scenarios in order to award the Stanley Cup. One idea would be to have the normal 16 team playoff format, while other ideas include expanding the number of teams to possibly 20 or more.
The league may cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season and move right into the playoffs. Regardless of how this season is played out, next year will likely have a delayed start.
Do you still have questions? The NHL did make an updated Q&A release regarding the 2019-20 season.
Update Wednesday, March 25th:
The league postponed the 2020 NHL Scouting Combine, the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Awards, and the 2020 NHL Draft. All of the events were planned to take place in the month of June.
The NHL is still planning to have the NHL Awards in Las Vegas when it is feasible to do so. The league will announce when these events are rescheduled once all the details are worked out.
This comes as no surprise as the NHL tries to figure out how to conclude the 2019-20 regular season and start playoffs. Any NHL related event is expected to be delayed due to the COVID-19 situation.
Statement From DucksNPucks
This event is bigger than the Anaheim Ducks and sport of hockey. It affects the entire sports industry and the world as a whole. Our sympathies and concerns go out to anyone affected by this worldwide incident. This will be a trying time for the world, but the triumph of the human spirit will get us through this.
Stay strong, stay safe, be kind, and love one another.
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March 24th, 2020