NHL hopeful for return to small group activities by mid-to-late-May

League and Players Association release statement after meeting

NHL hopeful for return to small group activities by mid-to-late-May
COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 2: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a power play goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 2, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

BOSTON — The NHL and NHLPA provided an updated timeline as the two parties continue to work together on a plan to return to action:

Following the NHL/NHLPA Return to Play Committee’s meeting Wednesday, and in line with guidance provided by medical experts and national and local authorities, the NHLPA and the NHL issued the following statement regarding the continuing pause in the 2019-20 season:

Despite numerous reports and speculation over the last several days, the NHL and the NHLPA have not made any decisions or set a timeline for possible return to play scenarios.

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Given recent developments in some NHL Clubs’ local communities, we are now looking ahead to a Phase 2 of the transition period that would follow the currently recommended Phase 1 period of “self-quarantine” by Players and Hockey Staff.

The precise date of transition to Phase 2, during which Players might return to small group activities in NHL Club training facilities, remains undetermined. However, provided that conditions continue to trend favorably – and, subject to potential competitive concerns as between disparately situated markets – we believe we may be able to move to Phase 2 at some point in the mid-to-later portion of May. Specific guidelines governing Player and Hockey Staff activity would be provided at that time. In the meantime, we expect Players and Hockey Staff to continue to adhere to the recommended guidelines put in place when the season was paused on March 12.

The Return to Play Committee will continue to meet regularly.