Trudeau: NHL players would need to follow quarantine before season could resume

Trudeau: NHL players would need to follow quarantine before season could resume

The NHL could face another hurdle if the league decides to continue the 2019-20 season in the near future — getting non-Canadian resident players across the border to join their respective teams.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that players would — at a minimum — need to follow quarantine protocols if they were to arrive in Canada while the border remains closed due to the pandemic.

“I think it’s a question we’ll have to look into,” Trudeau said in a press briefing. “Certainly at a strict minimum, anyone who arrives from another country will have to follow all the rules of quarantine in an extremely strict manner, but we’re not there yet in our discussions with the NHL.”

“We recognize that it’s a possibility, but it depends on an enormous amount of things, and I don’t want to speculate on this until there’s more discussion.”

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Edmonton and Toronto were being looked at as possible “hockey pod” cities that could host the remainder of the NHL season during the summer months. Games would be played in air-conditioned arenas without fans.

A person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press that the most aggressive timetable would have players returning to their home rinks as early as May 15, followed by a training camp and possible exhibition games in June.

Under that timeline, the regular season would resume in July with the Stanley Cup final likely stretching into September.

The league and NHL Players’ Association have formed a joint committee to determine a path forward that could get games back on the ice sometime in July without fans in attendance.

The committee said Wednesday in a statement that they “have not made any decisions or set a timeline for possible return to play scenarios,” but remained hopeful that players could return to their teams for “small group activities” by mid-to-late May.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said recently that no decisions have been made and noted that government and medical officials will ultimately make the call on when sports can return.

The season was paused on March 12, one day after the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 spread a pandemic — and one day after the NBA suspended its season following a positive novel coronavirus test on a Utah Jazz player.

As of early April, eight NHL players had tested positive for COVID-19, including five players on the Ottawa Senators.

Each team had between 10 and 14 games remaining on its regular-season schedule at the time of the suspension.

Four Canadian teams — Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg — were all in playoff position as of March 12, with Vancouver on the bubble.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bank of Canada set to make rate announcement, release economic outlook

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada will make its latest interest rate… Continue reading

Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose 10.7 per cent in May

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose in May after posting… Continue reading

Virus resurgence forces countries to reimpose restrictions

PROMACHONAS, Greece — Countries around the world are reimposing lockdowns and implementing… Continue reading

Nearly 270,000 Conservatives eligible to vote in leadership contest

OTTAWA — The national Conservative party says it has 269,469 members eligible… Continue reading

COVID-19 isn’t like a war

The collective effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic has been called the… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: This isn’t the first summer Red Deer’s fair has been cancelled

Normally, today, July 15, would have been the start of the annual… Continue reading

If you visit Sylvan Lake, take your garbage home with you

This past weekend saw the invasion of our quiet town with people… Continue reading

The futility of hoping for justice persists in the Balkans

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown,” says an old friend to Jack Nicholson… Continue reading

Three all-Canadian exhibition games part of NHL’s relaunch in Toronto, Edmonton

NEW YORK — The NHL has unveiled further details on the schedule… Continue reading

U.S. COVID-19 situation complicates Blue Jays’ plans to play at home: Njoo

OTTAWA — Canada’s deputy public health officer says the federal government would… Continue reading

Picasso portrait expected to fetch up to $1.6 million at Heffel online auction

TORONTO — A portrait by Pablo Picasso is among the artworks on… Continue reading

NHL says NBC would have been involved in restart, whether in Canada or US

TORONTO — The NHL is defending its decision to have an American… Continue reading

Most Read