The NHL has informed players who require work visas have been advised to return to Canada or the United States by June 21 in order to address those issues in time for the upcoming 24-team playoff.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman writes that with the league’s calendar ending on June 30th, so do players work visas. The league has sent a memo to players that it is “strongly recommended” they return to their home team’s country to extend their work visas due to the possible delays in getting those work visa extensions during COVID-19. There are concerns that players who don’t return in the next week might have trouble returning to North America in time for mandatory training camps, which is currently slated to start on July 10.
That could cause some concern for players who have already been told they don’t have to report to their NHL team until training camp and now are expected to show up 19 days earlier with no guarantee that play will resume due to the always-developing coronavirus.
- The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont writes that the Boston Bruins announced that a Bruins’ player has tested positive for COVID-19. According to general manager Don Sweeney, an unnamed player was tested three times, testing positive the first time, but negative the next two. The player has been asymptomatic since appearing at the team’s local practice facility for league-approved voluntary workouts. That player is now no longer allowed to train at the facility until a further test later this week. “I think everyone is learning how we properly interact and distance and react to the original test results,” said Sweeney. “This [workout] phase is a voluntary phase, but I think we are learning and we’ll continue to learn throughout, as the players go through it and, really, however everybody interacts.”
- On a similar note, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that the Arizona Coyotes have indicated that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 and remains asymptomatic. The team reports that no other player or staff member has tested positive during the Phase 2 testing protocol.