Photo: Centene Community Ice Center
According to The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford, sources told him that the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues were forced to close their practice facility this week after “multiple” players tested positive for COVID-19. However, they are expected to re-open it for phase two informal skates on Monday.
The team used the facility on Thursday in preparations for phase three (training camps), which are reportedly set to open a week from Monday, but not Friday. They were not scheduled to skate over the weekend but no players can go to the facility to work out.
However, the public did use the facility on Friday.
Teams increased the number of players who can skate at once from eight to 12 on June 23. A source said that two-thirds of the Blues’ roster was participating in phase two at the facility.
Last month, the Tampa Bay Lightning were forced to close their facility for five days after three players and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
15 of 250 players who have participated in phase two workouts tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday when the NHL released its last weekly testing update. In addition, 11 other players not in phase two protocol have tested positive.
The NHLPA and league are working on phases three and four protocols and a CBA extension before training camps open. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs are reportedly set to begin in Edmonton and Toronto on Saturday, August 1.
By Harrison Brown