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NHL Isolation Period Pushed Back Again

The NHL has extended its guideline for players and staff to self-quarantine until April 15 and reports are, the coronavirus pandemic could push that back even further.

In what looks like more signs an NHL regular season resumption isn’t likely, the NHL has extended its guideline for players and staff to self-quarantine until April 15 and reports are, the coronavirus pandemic could push that back even further.

On Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly sent an email to the Associated Press. In that email he acknowledged the previous date of April 4 was “meaningless” thanks to the rapidly changing situation. That likely means this April 15 date is as meaningless, but Daly noted, “As we get closer to the date, we’re going to have to make decisions as to what to do then,” He added, “We’re biting this off in chunks.”

This news comes on the same day that the city of Toronto announced a ban on all public events through June 30th. The Toronto mayor’s office clarified the ban to TSN radio, indicated that this ban does not include sporting events, only “city events and event permits.”, but still, things aren’t showing signs of getting better anytime soon.

Of course, the longer professional athletes are asked to stay secluded, the more time it will take to get them back up and running in regular season action and the more players will want time to reacquaint themselves to the game after having not skated for what could be a couple of months.

The NHL paused the season on March 12 but have held firm on their desire to resume a season if possible, more specifically get a playoff season in and award the Stanley Cup.

Considering President Donald Trump extended U.S. social distancing guidelines through the end of April, that’s not helpful to getting a season going before May. Factoring in that the NHL is still closely monitoring the CDC’s eight-week recommendation against gatherings of 50-plus people that runs until mid-May, that too is not helpful.

Baby Steps For the NHL

As seen as above, it feels more likely players will be playing inside their own homes before playing on the ice. Before anything else can happen, the NHL and the rest of the world needs to get on the other side of this virus. From there, the league will look at ways to get small groups of players together, all while sterilizing and vigorously cleaning everything.

To say the process will be arduous is putting it kindly.

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