Back in training camp, the standard for being cleared to participate for Canadian teams was four negative COVID-19 tests in a seven-day span with players getting the green light to join on-ice activities on the eighth day. That changed once the regular season started with the rule moving to a two-week quarantine period. That isn’t sitting well with the Canadian teams as TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (Twitter link) that they have made a request to the federal government to go back to the training camp rules.
This has come into play a couple of times already, first with Edmonton and their attempts to acquire a third goaltender in the absence of Mike Smith. They claimed Troy Grosenick off waivers last weekend and still haven’t been able to activate him to their roster yet. It will also be a factor in today’s acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois by Winnipeg as he’ll have to miss two weeks as things stand. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff alluded to the request in his press conference today and in fact, has told Ron MacLean of Hockey Night In Canada that the team is hoping a private flight to Winnipeg will reduce the quarantine to just seven days.
The proposal may not be viewed favorably by Canadian health officials. The reason they were allowed the one-week period for training camp was that the second week carried a restriction of players being limited to going to practices and home with no out-of-province travel since there were no exhibition games. That’s not the case anymore, making it a very different situation.
The argument from the Canadian teams will likely be that there is a strict testing regimen throughout the league and if acquired players haven’t tested positive at the time of the trade and make it through a week of isolation with four separate negative tests, they should be considered safe.
This is a situation to monitor given the effects it could have on the trade market. Canadian teams that are looking to add are already in a situation where they will have to time a move to ensure the new player misses as little time as possible. That’s harder to do the closer we get to the April 12 trade deadline and it’s important to note that players count against the salary cap (though not the active roster) while they go through their quarantine period. Slashing that in half would go a long way towards facilitating more transactions involving those teams in the weeks and months to come.