NHL Starts Phase 2 of Return to Play

Yesterday, the NHL announced that they were transitioning into Phase 2 of their Return to Play Plan. Phase 2 will officially start on Monday, June 8.

On June 8, assuming the teams have completed the requirements of the Phase 2 Protocol, they “will be permitted to reopen their training facilities in their home city to allow players to participate in individualized training activities (off-ice and on-ice).” This comes from the NHL Public Relations document on the official NHL app.

Phase 2 Protocol involves testing for infections and antibodies, checking temperatures and symptoms and educating all staff and players returning to their team’s home city, among other things. The measures set out in the protocol “are intended to provide players with a safe and controlled environment in which to resume their conditioning. Phase 2 is not a substitute for training camp.”

The press release for the transition into Phase 2 says that players “will be participating on a voluntary basis and will be scheduled to small groups (i.e. a maximum of six Players at any one time, plus a limited number of Club staff).”

The release noted that “necessary preparations for Phase 2, including those that require Player participation (education, diagnostic testing, scheduling for medicals, etc.) can begin immediately.” It also said that the “NHL and the NHLPA continue to negotiate over an agreement on the resumption of play.”

The next phase of the plan, I am assuming, will be when training camps begin before the seeding and play-in rounds start for the teams that qualified.