Reports are breaking late this evening that both the NHL and NHLPA are very close to finalizing a deal. In the agreement is a 40 page Return to Play document. One extremely important piece of information has to do with opting out of play.
Per Bob McKenzie of TSN, “Any player may opt out of Phase 3 and Phase 4 without penalty of any kind, but must make that decision and notify his club in writing by no later than 5 p.m. ET on July 7; Each of the 24 NHL clubs in Phase 3/4 must submit a list of participating players by no later than July 9.”
Details of NHL Return to Play protocols emerging
At this time details are dropping at a feverish pace with pieces of the CBA language as well. Here are the most important points:
- Coaches are not required to wear masks behind the bench
- All players will be subject to a pre-participation exam
- If the team doctors determine the player is at risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, that player will be held out of both Phase 3 & 4
- Players can seek second opinions
- Players can leave the “bubble” with permission
- Upon return those players will be forced to quarantine
- They can return to play after 4 straight negative tests over 4 days
- Players who leave the “bubble” without permission may be removed from the tournament and the team could face additional penalties
Stay tuned, because there is an expectation that some players may opt out this coming Tuesday.