Hockey fan Nicholas Corso Algonquin discusses the recent release of Phase 2 in the NHL’s Return-to-Play plan.
CHANDLER, AZ / JULY, 2020 / The NHL has developed their Return-to-Play plan to reenter the season while the coronavirus pandemic remains an issue across the United States. Phase 2 of the plan began roughly two weeks ago, as clubs are reopening their training facilities. Hockey fan Nicholas Corso Algonquin stated that this phase does not include full practices, as it is limited to small-group workouts and ice sessions.
Nicholas Corso Algonquin added that the players who are returning to facilities are doing so voluntarily, and none are required by the league or coaches to begin training. Nicholas Corso Algonquin explained that Phase 2 of this plan limits the number of players working out or on the ice to just six people. Each player will also be tested prior to entering the facility. Coaches and players are expected to monitor themselves and each other for symptoms.
“As fans, we think the NHL is being extremely responsible,” Nicholas Corso Algonquin said. “While we all want play to resume, we understand that it’s in the best interest of the players and fans to be cautious.”
Nicholas Corso Algonquin explained that the NHL has been inactive since March 12, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Phase 1 involved players self-isolating at home, as directed by the league. Phase 2 has been in effect since early June, and Phase 3 is expected to begin on July 10, or a later date if postponed. Nicholas Corso Algonquin explained that Phase 3 will involve the opening of training camps, while the final phase will be active competition. No date has been set for Phase 4 and competitive play, but it has been stated that competition will resume as a 24-team playoff.
While Phase 2 is fully underway, some teams are entering the phase more slowly than others. The ice at many facilities opened for small groups on June 8, but many players and coaches opted not to enter Phase 2 until days or weeks later. Nicholas Corso Algonquin explained that many players were self-isolating in areas away from the town in which they usually play, which makes it difficult to present for Phase 2 training sessions.
“It’s going to be a long and drawn-out process to reach the point of the 24-team playoffs,” Nicholas Corso Algonquin said. “Many players are still self-isolating and are unable to travel to training facilities. Phase 3 is expected to begin on July 10, but we think that may be pushed back as well.”
Nicholas Corso Algonquin explained that the main goal is to get everyone back on the ice and in the stands without anyone at risk of contracting COVID-19.
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