Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that players would — at a minimum — need to follow quarantine protocols if they were to arrive in Canada while the border remains closed due to the pandemic.
“I think it’s a question we’ll have to look into,” Trudeau said in a press briefing. “Certainly at a strict minimum, anyone who arrives from another country will have to follow all the rules of quarantine in an extremely strict manner, but we’re not there yet in our discussions with the NHL.”
“We recognize that it’s a possibility, but it depends on an enormous amount of things, and I don’t want to speculate on this until there’s more discussion.”
The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Edmonton and Toronto were being looked at as possible “hockey pod” cities that could host the remainder of the NHL season during the summer months. Games would be played in air-conditioned arenas without fans.
Although there has been no official statement from the White House as of yet, it’s assumed that the same criteria will be required for all players entering the United States.
A person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press that the most aggressive timetable would have players returning to their home rinks as early as May 15, followed by a training camp and possible exhibition games in June.
Under that timeline, the regular season would resume in July with the Stanley Cup final likely stretching into September.