Following this week’s NHL / NHLPA Return to the Play Committee meeting, and in line with advice provided by medical experts and national and local authorities, the NHL and player association released a statement on the ongoing pause in the 2019-20 season.
Following various reports and speculation over the past few days, they said that the NHL and NHLPA did not make any decisions.
The joint declaration read: “Given recent developments in some NHL clubs’ local communities, we are now looking ahead to a Phase 2 of the transition period that would follow the currently recommended Phase 1 period of ‘self-quarantine’ by players and hockey staff.”
The exact transfer date to Phase 2, during which players would return to small group practises in training facilities at the NHL club, remains undetermined. It added: “However, provided that conditions continue to trend favourably – and, subject to potential competitive concerns as between disparately situated markets – we believe we may be able to move to Phase 2 at some point in the mid-to-later portion of May.”
Around the time there will be clear rules governing the conduct of players and hockey personnel. Meanwhile, when the season was suspended on March 12, the league and its player union, expect players and hockey personnel to continue adhering to agreed guidelines put in place.