NHL pivoting coronavirus plans to return after players voice concerns

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The NHL appears to be pivoting on its plan to reopen the season in four central locations and is now exploring the possibility of playing games in the home cities of its teams, several sources told the Post.

The league faces a myriad of assumptions, but the players are believed to have pushed back the prospect of spending months in a hotel outside of their family. Consequently, the league is studying this alternative which would have appeared following Wednesday’s virtual meeting of the NHL / NHLPA return to play committee which includes five players.

The actors raised many questions about the protocols under which they would be essentially separated from society, but did not, as a group, reject this possibility. Thus, the centralized location plan has not been removed as an option.

The Post has learned that when the league and the union organize their meetings, less is clear than ever. For example, there is no consensus on the format for reopening the league.

As the teams lobbied to end the regular season to fulfill their local television contracts, we are told that the league continues to explore the possibility of going straight to an extended playoff tournament.

If the NHL moves to play in its home cities, it will create a whole new set of problems that the league and the union will have to face and solve, the most notable of which are travel considerations and how to test players and staff. auxiliary who live. in disparate locations under divergent government policies related to coronaviruses.

Testing, however, remains a major stumbling block to reopening in any form, as the league struggles with issues such as the availability of test kits, the cost, reliability and speed of results .

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