Breaking: NHL players that want to opt-out must inform teams by Tuesday
Reports are breaking late this evening that both the NHL and NHLPA are very close to finalizing a deal. In the agreement is a 40 page Return to Play document. One extremely important piece of information has to do with opting out of playing.
Per Bob McKenzie of TSN, “Any player may opt out of Phase 3 and Phase 4 without penalty of any kind, but must make that decision and notify his club in writing by no later than 5 p.m. ET on July 7; Each of the 24 NHL clubs in Phase 3/4 must submit a list of participating players by no later than July 9.”
Update 11:15 PM, opt-out is three days after ratification
Details of NHL Return to Play protocols emerging
At this time details are dropping at a feverish pace with pieces of the CBA language as well. Here are the most important points:
- Coaches are not required to wear masks behind the bench
- All players will be subject to a pre-participation exam
- If the team doctors determine the player is at risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, that player will be held out of both Phase 3 & 4
- Players can seek second opinions
- Players can leave the “bubble” with permission
- Upon return those players will be forced to quarantine
- They can return to play after 4 straight negative tests over 4 days
- Players who leave the “bubble” without permission may be removed from the tournament and the team could face additional penalties
Kaapo Kakko is expected to play, at the moment
“If the doctors and the world of science told us not to play him, he’s not playing, it’s that simple,” John Davidson told John Giannone in a recent Zoom call. “We’ve had many discussions with him (Kakko). He’s been tested, he’s good.” As of this moment, Kaapo Kakko has been cleared to play but JD wanted it understood that the decision will ultimately be Kakko’s who’s a diabetic and could be at increased risk for COVID-19.
“As of right now we look to have him in the lineup,” JD stated. He then went into further details, “If there is a change that comes along and they say we don’t think he should be playing, he’s not playing.” Regardless of all the science and doctors’ clearance, Kaapo must be comfortable as JD clarified when answering. “It’s his decision remember, and (he) wants to play, and talks to his family, he’s playing.”
That change now comes in the form of a pre-participation exam. While nothing is expected to change, it is important to note that the final determination will take place before Phase 3 begins.
More importantly, we will know this week which NHL stars will opt out this summer.