With the 2021 truncated NHL sea on opener less than two weeks away the Federal Health department has OK’d measures that will allow training camps to get underway immediately.
The federal government says it has issued an exemption under “national interest grounds” to what would normally be a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for NHL players and team staff to return to Canada for training camp.
There still has to be approval from the five provinces with NHL franchises for games between Canadian teams to be played during the regular season.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says in a statement that the league’s plan for the pre-season offers “robust measures to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.” It says all provinces with NHL clubs have provided written support for the plan.
The statement adds all teams must operate within provincial rules for regular-season play.
The five provinces with teams have not commented on the NHL since deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Dec. 24 that the league believes it can play games in all seven Canadian markets. The Canadian teams will only play each other during the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs, and won’t crossing the border, which remains closed to non-essential travel.
Most of Canada’s teams are expected to open training camp this weekend or Monday.