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Tuesday afternoon, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the Return to Play Plan, which concludes the 2019-20 regular season and focuses on the phases and formats for the postseason. Bettman highlighted the importance of the health and safety of players as main priorities. During a virtual media availability yesterday evening with Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Bettman said the league will be testing players and personnel every evening for Coronavirus once the playoffs begin, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
“You’re talking about millions of dollars,” Bettman said. The league could carry out 25,000-30,000 tests throughout the playoffs that will show results by the next morning. The NHL believes tests will be widely available whenever they resume.
Daly also says medical experts have told the league that the playoffs would not necessarily shut down if a single Coronavirus test came back positive.
I asked Donald Fehr if NHLPA has received assurances that players’ families can travel w/ them to hub cities. That’s still something that has to be negotiated. Fehr: “Hopefully nobody is going to be without their families for an extended period of time. I find that very unlikely”
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) May 26, 2020
Additionally, teams will be limited to 50 personnel in the “hub” city with only a small number of support staff permitted to enter the event areas. NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr says it’s “unlikely” that players’ families will not be able to travel to the hub cities, but it is a situation that is still being negotiated. “Hopefully nobody is going to be without their families for an extended period of time,” Fehr added.
Keep in mind that the timing and sites for hub cities will be determined at a future date and will be dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability, and government regulations.
By Della Young