Jets forward Andrew Copp is in no hurry to return to Winnipeg if he cannot get back on the ice immediately due to the 14-day quarantine.
Speaking to reporters about the NHL return to play plan from his Michigan home on Wednesday, Copp said the strict rules for travelers arriving to Canada from the United States were enough to keep it south of the border, for the moment.
“Obviously, I want to be on the ice,” said Copp. “But in the voluntary phase, the two-week quarantine that the Canadian government currently has will pretty much deter me from coming back until the start of training camp or until it is lifted. I trained off the ice, and coming back and sitting in my apartment for two consecutive weeks in Winnipeg will not be good for me, mentally or physically. “
Copp says he could travel to Florida in the next week or two to resume skating.
Copp’s comments underscore the problem the NHL has with Canada’s quarantine rules, a regulation that, according to the league, would prevent any Canadian center from being a hub for the proposed Stanley Cup tournament.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff says all he can do is ensure players have a safe environment if they choose to return for small group skates, which are slated to start early next month.
“It’s all done on a voluntary basis right now, so it’s not something we can really take care of,” said Cheveldayoff. “This is something that looks us in the eye, and I know a lot of people face it. Right now, I have to respect all the decisions of the players and be there to support them throughout this phase and wait to see what the days and the weeks bring us. “
Copp sees Canadian rules as a disadvantage for teams from that country who want to start gathering their players.
“I don’t think it’s fair to ask the Canadian teams to bring their players into their apartments for two weeks and the American teams to go to phase 2 and skate all day,” he said. . “I am sure the competitive advantage will be discussed and understood. “
Copp is eager to resume play, however, saying he is more optimistic that the NHL will return this summer than it was at the start of the game.
But he says players still need answers to some key questions, including the question of health insurance for any potential long-term problem for anyone who contracts COVID-19.
“As soon as you see a guy who can have symptoms or get sick, you want to make sure he is getting enough treatment,” said Copp. “And then probably just the long-term health risks which we really don’t know much about at this point.” “
Another potential problem is that players are separated from their families.
Copp is single, but other NHLers, including Columbus captain Nick Foligno, have spoken out against a quarantine bubble that does not include family members
“If someone tells me I can’t see my family, there will be a fight at some point,” said Foligno on Wednesday.
Copp also does not see a complete separation from his family.
“It will be difficult for them to just leave without knowing when they will see each other next,” he said. ” Mostly…. at a time like this when there is a lot of uncertainty, I don’t know how reluctant the guys will be to do it. I hope we can find a way for families to visit or stay with the players. “
Copp, 25, is everything for gamers who have the freedom to choose to visit restaurants and be in the community if they do it intelligently by socializing and disinfecting them. He says that is what he did when he started locking in Florida and continues to do it in Michigan, wearing a mask when he deems it necessary.
“I absolutely don’t want it brought into your hotel room,” he said. “I’m the kind of person who pushes open, but at the same time I know how much risk there is from the obvious contraction of the virus, so you have to eliminate it as much as possible. We’re obviously not going to concerts or playing cards too much, with the frequency with which this guy has touched cards or something.
“The bubble will not be hermetically sealed. “
Copp doesn’t really have a preference for hub cities, but hopes they can be as open and non-restrictive as possible.
His biggest concern in hockey is the condition of the ice, especially if the major cities are in hot climates.
Now that he has something to train for, a target timeline and even an opponent in mind – the Jets will face Calgary in a five game unbeaten streak – he will take whatever he can find in the next little one while than.
It just won’t be north of the border.
“Around the start of phase 3 or until the quarantine is lifted, I probably won’t be going back to Canada.”