NHL Extends Self-Quarantine Period Again

Graphic: NHL

By Michael Walters

Last week the NHL held a conference call with the league General Managers on Tuesday, March 24th.

At that time, the NHL instructed players and team staff to self-quarantine for an additional 10 days. Originally players were to self-quarantine until Friday, March 27th but that was extended to Monday, April 6th.

Today the league again extended the self-quarantine period, this time until April 15th.

The NHL will likely have to extend the period at least one more time because the United States is in a holding pattern until the end of April per various reports. Some local jurisdictions have orders in place beyond April, like the state of Virginia, who has an order in effect until June 10th. The Washington Capitals practice facility is located in Virginia.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, an order against mass gatherings was issued recently for an unknown length of time. Today, the Toronto Mayor John Tory also banned all city permitted events through June 30th. Sporting events don’t require a permit in Toronto, but they still would not be allowed under the province-wide ban.

It will be interesting to see how the NHL deals with the national, state, and province orders that are in place. The league also postponed the combine, award show, and draft, which would also only be able to take place when orders are lifted.

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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, which coincides with the current US deadline, 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.

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The NHL is still 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 would also like to have a full 82 game season for 2020-21.

We recorded a recent podcast exploring how the NHL could possibly conclude the 2019-20 season and playoffs. Thanks to our listeners, a majority of the show focused on fan-driven content. We also wrote several articles in the past few days. Scroll down for the podcast and articles links.

Listen to our hockey podcast by clicking below or visit us at PodomaticSpreaker, or YouTube.

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March 31st, 2020


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