As a condition of the ratified ‘Return to Play’ plan approved by both the NHL and NHLPA, players not wishing to participate in the 2020 playoffs have the option to ‘opt out’ without penalty. Players have until 5:00 PM on Monday, July 13 to notify their club.
Here is the latest list of players that have decided to opt out and the date they announced their decision. (Chronologically ordered from latest to first)
Karl Alzner (7/11)
The Montreal Canadiens have announced that defenceman Karl Alzner has opted out of the NHL’s Return to Play program.
Alzner has spent most of the last two seasons with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket. He played four games with the Canadiens this season.
The defenceman has two more seasons remaining on his contract with Montreal with an AAV of $4.625 million.
Steven Kampfer (6/11)
Boston Bruins defenceman Steven Kampfer opted out of the NHL’s Return to Play program on Saturday.
“After speaking with my wife, family and my agent I have decided that I am opting out of the return to play,” Kampfer said in a statement on his twitter account. “This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.
“My wife and son have a congenital heart defect which can cause complications with Covid-19. We have taken this very seriously. Family will always be my priority.”
Kampfer had two assists in 10 games with the Bruins this season.
Mike Green (6/11)
Green informed Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland that he will be opting out of the NHL’s 2020 Return to Play Program.
“Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons, not to participate in the return to play,” Green said in a statement.
“This has been a hard decision knowing I’m going to miss the opportunity to compete in the playoffs with a Stanley Cup contender. I wish the best of luck to the guys and I appreciate the Edmonton Oilers support.”
Green, 34, played 48 games with the Detroit Red Wings this season before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers, he failed to register a point in the two games he played with them.
Roman Polak (6/11)
will not be joining the Dallas Stars for the reminder of the NHL season, a team spokesman said.
The 34-year-old is a pending free agent who last month agreed to a deal in his native Czech Republic next season and told reporters there he wasn’t planning on returning to the NHL if play resumed.
In 41 games this season, Polak had four assists and was a minus-6 with the Stars. He is a veteran of 806 career NHL games with the St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks and Stars, and has 26 goals and 140 points.
Sven Baertschi (6/10)
Baertschi informed the Vancouver Canucks he has chosen to opt out of the NHL’s Return to Play, team general manager Jim Benning confirmed.
“It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand,” Benning said.
Baertschi spent most of the 2019-20 season with the Utica Comets, appearing in 43 AHL games and posting 13 goals and 33 assists. He appeared in six games with Vancouver, registering two assists.
Travis Hamonic (6/10)
Hamonic was the first player to officially opt out of the NHL’s Return to Play. In a statement he said, “Due to what my daughter already has gone through and the concerns if she were to catch COVID-19, I’ve decided to opt out and seek a leave of absence from the Calgary Flames for the remainder of the playoffs.” Hamonic said. “I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping the team win but my family has and always will come first. Being my little kids’ dad everyday is the most important job I have.
“I love this game and my team. This is a decision that is extremely hard for me to make. I wish my teammates the best of luck and good health. I look forward to joining the C of Red, the greatest fans in the NHL, in cheering on my teammates as they chase the opportunity to bring the Stanley Cup home to Calgary.”
Teams are scheduled to report to training camp on Monday, and their respective hub destinations July 26, with qualifying-round games slated to begin Aug. 1. The Capitals open against the Tampa Bay Lightning on August 3.
by Jon Sorensen