Breaking: NHL lays out Phase 2 plans, overseas Rangers not required to return yet

mika zibanejad
Zibanejad has emerged as an elite center (AP Photo)

The NHL has laid out Phase 2 and it details safety protocols, return to practice facilities, testing, and more. Details in the memo were relayed in detail by Pierre LeBrun and other insiders earlier this morning.

Phase 2 Breakdown

  • Phase 2 will start early June
  • Player participation is voluntary
  • NHL clubs cannot require players to return to home city
  • 6 players max at time in practice facility
  • On ice workouts for players only, no coaches
  • Players must wear a mask unless on ice or working out

Rangers Overseas

Getty Images

As noted, the Rangers are not permitted to require players to return to their home city. Players in North America are allowed to gather and start on ice workouts wherever they are located. So what does this mean for the Blueshirts overseas? Not too much at the moment, as players like Zibanejad in Sweden and Kakko in Finland have been doing on ice workouts.

The DHS Secretary already lifted restrictions for athletes to return, and working with their home countries shouldn’t be an issue. However, there is another hurdle when it comes to visas.

Our own Steven Voogel explains the complications follows. “Visas are handed out for the duration of the contract upon signing. Which means, for Chytil’s ELC for instance, back in 2017, it was valid for 3 years. With his ELC sliding, the contract may expire in 2021, but his visa expires June 30th and since there is no new contract in place yet, he technically does not qualify for a work visa, needed as a Czech citizen.”

Jesper Fast, Alex Georgiev, Libor Hajek, and Lias Andersson also fall under this category. While there’s been some rumored discussion about Andersson being added to expanded playoff roster, this issue could be a factor in him not being added.

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