As part of what it calls Phase 2 of its return-to-play policy, the NHL is hoping to start voluntary, small-group workouts at teams’ practice facilities in early June.
No exact date was set in a lengthy league memo sent to all teams and made public Monday. Only six players, maximum, would be allowed to be on the ice at the same time — and they would not be permitted to have contact.
No coaches will be permitted on the ice, but they can observe the players, according to the 22-page memo.
The memo said players must wear masks while entering and leaving their training facilities; they will not have to wear them on the ice or when exercising.
Players will be encouraged to shower at home and leave all workout clothes and equipment at their training facility for cleaning, according to the memo.
The memo also said it is not anticipating that isolated cases of the coronavirus would cause widespread quarantining of players during Phase 2.
If a player or staff member tests positive for the virus, the team will conduct contract tracing in conjunction with local health regulations.
The Flyers would practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, which is currently closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The NHL suspended its season March 12 because of the virus.
Players would be tested for the coronavirus two days before they return to small-group sessions, and they would then be tested twice each week. In addition, their temperatures would be checked daily.
On Friday, the NHL Players’ Association, by a 29-2 vote, approved a 24-team tournament that would not have fans at games. The Flyers voted in favor of the plan, which would have play-in games followed by 16 teams competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
There are still issues that have to be resolved before the season can resume, including health and safety concerns, whether teams will be reseeded after play-in games, and the length of the first playoff series after the play-in round.
The final two phases of the return-to play plan: A three-week training camp (Phase 3), expected to begin in June, and the resumption of the season (Phase 4), expected to return in July.