NHL Teams Given the Go-Ahead to Open Training Facilities

NHL: MAR 07 Sabres at Flyers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 07: Philadelphia Flyers Left Wing Michael Raffl (12) talks with Center Nate Thompson (44) in the third period during the game between the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers on March 07, 2020 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The NHL announced Thursday afternoon that it would permit teams to open training facilities. League officials announced that October 15 would be the starting date for these activities, and that they would permit voluntary workouts to take place.

Per Emily Kaplan of ESPN.com, the NHL released a 19-page document detailing the return, including rules on social distancing and other precautionary measures given the circumstances. In order to open facilities, teams will need notice from a minimum of five players, and only 12 will be allowed on the ice at once.

Per the protocols mentioned in the document:

The schedule must allow for sufficient time between sessions to allow for proper disinfecting of training facilities and equipment, and to ensure that there is no overlap between players departing and the next group arriving,”

The protocols also declare that upon arrival, players and staffers must produce a negative test for COVID-19. On top of that, they will be tested twice weekly as well. Cardiac screenings will take place for anyone that has tested positive in the past. Weight training will also be permitted, but only if it does not permit a spotter. No more than six players are allowed in the weight room at one time.

Teams will not allowed to conduct fitness tests at this time. Those will take place when training camp opens. Working out at public facilities, or organizing group skates outside of team training sessions is not permitted. Face masks will need to be worn at all times unless players are weight training or working out on the ice.

Lockers will be socially distanced (six feet,) showers are permitted without the sharing of towels, toiletries, etc. No saunas, steam rooms, or shared meals are allowed as well. Hot and cold tubs will be permitted. Players are heavily discouraged from carpooling or using public transportation to and from the rink.

Outside of that, no media, player performance personnel, player agents, or family are allowed at the rink.

No official training camp date has been announced yet, nor has a date for the start of the 2020/21 NHL season.

The Flyers last played September fifth in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they lost the game 4-0, and the series 4-3. Since then, Sean Couturier has won the Selke Trophy, and Nicolas Aube-Kubel has been re-signed. Much more is likely to unfold as the offseason rolls along. There are plenty of in-house free agents, restricted and unrestricted, that need to be re-signed.

Mandatory Credit – Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire