The NHL released its offseason training protocols on Thursday. The 19-page document provides guidance for health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The protocols also provide information for the re-opening of team facilities.
The NHL is allowing all teams to open their facilities for voluntary workouts beginning October 15, with a maximum of 12 players allowed on the ice at any one time. Everyone will be tested at least twice weekly, and anyone who has had COVID must also undergo a cardiac screening.
“The schedule must allow for sufficient time between sessions to allow for proper disinfecting of training facilities and equipment, and to ensure that there is no overlap between players departing and the next group arriving.”
The NHL is banning media, player agents, player performance personnel and players’ families from the facilities during offseason training.
FROM NHL MEDIA RELEASE
NEW YORK — The National Hockey League announced today the Protocol for Off-Season Training ahead of the 2020-21 season, which is effective for each Club at the conclusion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. Start dates for both Training Camp and the 2020-21 regular season have not yet been set.
The health and safety of all Players and Club personnel continue to be of top priority, and will dictate how the Protocol for Off-Season Training, and any progression thereafter, may evolve.
The Protocol, which is similar to the Phase 2 Protocol from the 2019-20 Return to Play plan, was agreed to by the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association. It was also developed with the input of both the NHL and the NHLPA’s respective medical, epidemiology and infectious disease experts as well as Club medical personnel.
As outlined in the Protocols for Off-Season Training, each Club can open its training facility in the Club’s home city or allow gatherings of small groups of Players to engage in individualized training activities on a volunteer basis.
The NHL is currently scheduled to open training camps on November 17, although that date will likely slip.
Announcements of training camp schedules and rosters and the regular season schedule are yet to come.
By Jon Sorensen