League officials and players are starting to put together a schedule to restart the season
It’s been over two months since almost all sports activity as paused across the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Some European and Asian countries have already restarted a lot of their sports competitions, while, in the US, leagues are only just now beginning to think about resuming activities. The NHL just announced that it has started Phase 2 of its relaunch framework as of yesterday, which allows players to return to their clubs’ training facilities, voluntarily, for some small-group individualized workout.
This news follows up an announcement made by the NHL Players Association two days ago, which confirms the approval of a playoff format with 24 teams and that will start as soon as the league goes back to action. Phase 2 is defined by allowing NHL players to return to their team facilities for the first time since hockey games were paused on March 12 – the same day as the NBA put its season on hold. The league has sent a memo to all teams in which it proposes early June as the targeted date for this new phase to start.
“As we have stated repeatedly, the health of the players and club personnel is our top priority, and that will dictate how Phase 2, and any progression, thereafter, may evolve,” the NHL said. “We again emphasize that player participation in Phase 2 is strictly voluntary. In addition, clubs are not permitted to require players to return to the club’s home city so they can complete a quarantine requirement in time to participate in Phase 2.”