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Return To Play: NHL Ready To Enact “Phase 2”

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NHL’s Return To Play Coming More Into Focus

Winnipeg Jets v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The NHL is about to take the next step toward resuming the 2019-20 season.

Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return To Play is set to begin this Monday. Sounds lovely, but what does it mean? It means a few things, really. Players can return to their club training facilities, while players can access limited ice time (no more than six at a a time). Individual drills can resume. It’s not a huge step, but it’s a step towards the league’s 24 team playoff setup. The league is still quite far from their expected return of late July or early August, but Phase 2 is a step forward.

SAFETY FIRST

The NHL still has two more phases to enter before the games count for real, but the league will need to make sure that all of the players enter with a clean bill of health. The Pittsburgh Penguins have revealed that a player tested positive for Covid-19 today. While this likely does nothing for the immediate plans to restart the season in a couple of months, it’s absolute lunacy to even consider starting up again if there are multiple cases cropping up before the players even get back to their home rinks.