NHL Releases Phase 2 Protocol As Reopening Nears Amid Pandemic

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Nicholas Elias Contributor
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The NHL has begun to prepare the second phase of its coronavirus protocols Monday, as the league aims to return to play in the coming weeks.

A memo was circulated to NHL teams over the weekend outlining the guidelines for returning to play, according to ESPN. The league will allow players to train in small group team facilities as the league “monitors developments in each of the club’s markets.”

NHL Phase 1 “involved self-quarantine for players and hockey staff and began on March 12,” reported ESPN.

The memo reportedly said the league was planning to return and implement Phase 2 in early June. (RELATED: Capitals Goaltender Braden Holtby Saves Kitten Under Bridge)

The protocols allow for a maximum of six players to train at the team facilities at once, according to ESPN. Only players will be allowed on the ice, with coaches and training staff out of the rink. Players will additionally have to wear face masks at all times, except while skating or exercising, as outlined by the memo.

Phase 2, as outlined by the NHL, is strictly voluntary and teams cannot require players to be trained. 

Players and staff participating in Phase 2 will be tested for the virus two days before practice and will be tested twice a week after they begin practice. Players have also been advised to take their own temperature checks daily.