NHL Heads To Phase 2 Of Its ‘Return-To-Play Protocol’
The NHL’s plan to continue its 2020 season is slowly coming together. The league claims that Phase 2 of the plan is underway and might begin in early June. The return of the season would come earlier than expected.
The league recently uploaded a memorandum containing concrete plans and ‘phased return to sport protocols’. Phase 1, which the NHL successfully pulled off, involves putting all players and stuff under self-quarantine. The league terminated all group skates training and closed out all NHL public facilities.
For Phase 2, the league confirmed the return of team facilities provided that the players participate in non-contact skating sessions. Here are the permitted activities under Phase 2:
- “Player-only” non-contact skates. No coaches, skating coaches, other Club employees or Club contracted representatives may participate in any on-ice sessions;
-On-ice time shall be divided equally between the skaters within each small group
(goaltenders may be provided additional ice time). When Players are not participating
in on-ice activities they will be permitted to utilize the Club’s exercise and weight room
equipment, or receive individual treatment from the Club’s Medical / Training staff (see
Paragraph I (2) below).
- Weight training that does not include the need for a spotter;
- Circuit-based activities such as resistance training;
- Cardiovascular exercises and endurance training; and
- Rehabilitation and treatment for Players with on-going disabling injuries and for Players
Only players and team staff are allowed to enter the facilities. Media personnel, player agents, massage therapists, chiropractors, and player performance personnel, and players’ family members are prohibited from entering.
The NHL plans to conduct another 14-day quarantine before allowing the teams to enter the facilities. In addition, players and team staff have to get a COVID-19 nasal swab test two days before entering Phase 2 and starting the training. All participants will be tested at least twice per week afterward. The testing is sponsored by the NHL, but players and staff must check their temperature and symptoms daily and individually.
If Phase 2 succeeds and no player or personnel catch the virus, the NHL proceeds to Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (return to play).