Training camp begins as NHL enters third phase of return, coronavirus results released
Training camp began Monday for the 24 teams participating in the NHL’s expanded playoffs, the third of four planned phases of the Return to Play plan, and the league announced 30 positive tests results for COVID-19 emerged from the 600 players who had reported and underwent 4,934 tests during Phase 2.
Phase 2 included players reporting to their team’s facility for voluntary workouts.
In a news release, the league said it was aware of 13 additional players having tested positive outside of the Phase 2 protocols. The league has said it will not identify players who test positive and won’t specify their teams. No injury information of any kind will be made public during camp or when play resumes.
During training camp, players will not be sequestered but they have been urged to follow guidelines designed to minimize their chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19. They will enter a “bubble” starting July 26, when 12 Eastern Conference teams travel to their hub in Toronto and 12 Western Conference teams report to a hub in Edmonton. Competition is scheduled to resume Aug. 1, and games will be played without fans.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said these extraordinary times led him and the players’ union to ensure labor amity until Sept. 15, 2026.
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi, who has Type I diabetes and celiac disease, did not report to training camp and reportedly will take a week or 10 days to decide whether he will play or whether he will opt out. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, in a story published on the league’s website, confirmed that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 while at his offseason home in Arizona though he was asymptomatic. He had to stay off the ice for a few weeks but has recovered and was able to fully take part in training camp drills Monday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins said they put nine players into voluntary isolation because of “potential secondary exposure to an individual who had contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19.” The nine won’t be allowed to participate in training camp activities until they follow NHL testing protocols and it’s deemed safe for them to join their teammates.
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