The NHL announced it’s next step today, in a 29-page document detailing “Phase 2” of getting back into things. Here’s the full thing, and we’ll break down the key points.
Here’s the important stuff:
Who: Up to six players at a time, in a voluntary manner.
The NHL/NHLPA Phase 2 agreement stipulates 6 players max in a practice facility at once; the on-ice sessions with players only, no coaches or other personnel allowed on the ice— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 25, 2020
When: “Based on the current information available, we are now targeting a date in early June for a transition to Phase 2.” But the memo also states, “it has not yet been determined when precisely Phase 2 will start or how long it may last. We are continuing to monitor developments in each of the Club’s markets, and may adjust the overall timing if appropriate, following discussion with all relevant parties.”
Where: All over the place!
One interesting wrinkle about eventual NHL Phase 2: "Players from other clubs who are residing in the area can have access to the facilities." That means technically the dozens of Minnesota-based NHLers can work out/skate at #mnwild facility (6 total players, max at a time)— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) May 25, 2020
As Matt Vensel pointed out, the last location of Nick Bjugstad and Jason Zucker was in Minnesota. And I believe that Jim Rutherford mentioned that Jake Guentzel had also gone back home for the latter stages of his rehab. Patrick Marleau, of course, is in San Jose, being as his family isn’t relocating, so you’d certainly think he will be skating at the Sharks facility in Phase 2. It’ll also be good news for Zucker, who can stay with his family for longer as well.
Of note: Players and team staff will be given a COVID-19 nasal swab test two days before starting Phase 2 training, and then will be tested at least twice per week afterwards. They must also self-administer a temperature and symptom check every day.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 25, 2020
Surely hockey player who often mask concussion symptoms will be self-reporting fevers or coughs, right? There was an eye roll in there.
Phase 3 is going to be full team training camps, which could be on track to start later in June or in early July, if all goes well. Phase 4 is restarting the season. The league still has a lot to figure out on how to get there, but Phase 2 is a major step for the Penguins and the rest of the league to get back towards unpausing the season.