Late yesterday, news broke on key Return to Play protocols that the players and owners will be voting on soon. Initially it was being reported that players opting-out must notify their respective teams by Tuesday at 5PM. That was later clarified by Bob McKenzie to be three days after the plan is ratified.
Key Points on NHL Return to Play Protocols
- 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
NHL Releases new COVID-19 test results
The NHL today released its weekly COVID-19 testing results and found an additional 8 cases. Last week it was 15 with 12 more cases identified outside of the Phase 2 protocols. That is now a total of 35 positive tests in the league out of 396 players tested.
Will any New York Rangers opt out?
The big question in the mind’s of fans of the Blueshirts is if any of the players will opt out. That remains to be seen and we will have concrete answers this week.
It is highly unlikely that any member of the Rangers will opt out. Currently, almost every player that was on the roster when the league suspended play is in NY and prepping for Phase 3. If a player was intent on not playing, they likely would not have made the journey back to NY.
Two players that have yet to report to the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown are Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. It is important to note that both are expected, but Strome and his wife just had their first child recently.
Another player who is here and wants to play is Kaapo Kakko. He is also expected to go but could be ruled out by doctors after his pre-participation exam. Again that is also unlikely.
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