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Category: NHLPA

Updated COVID Protocol

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Jan. 18, 2022) – Following a meeting of their respective medical groups last week, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today the following updates to their COVID Protocol:

Five-Day Isolation Period: The isolation period Protocol update issued Dec. 29 appears to be functioning well in its current form. A significant portion of Players appear to be exiting isolation after five days, with a lab-based PCR test that has a CT value >30.

Testing Protocol: The plan is to continue the current testing Protocol through Feb. 3. Provided positive test results continue to decline within the NHL, and pending review and agreement by Jan. 31 by the NHL’s and NHLPA’s medical experts, the Protocol will be updated as follows:

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Relaxing The Covid Testing

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The Modified Covid Protocol

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Dec. 29, 2021) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today a modification to their COVID-19 Protocol. The modification will reduce the isolation period after a positive test from 10 days to five days for fully vaccinated Players who meet the required conditions. It also applies to fully vaccinated Hockey Operations staff, including coaches. The change was made in response to the new isolation guidelines for COVID-positive individuals issued on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the changes apply on a League-wide basis, all personnel will still have to comply with the applicable health and safety regulations in their jurisdictions, including the Federal and Provincial COVID health and safety mandates in Canada, which may be more restrictive than the Protocol.

Specifics of the changes to the Protocol after a positive test include:

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NHL/NHLPA Joint Release

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Dec. 26, 2021) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League today announced agreement on the temporary formation of “Taxi Squads” as well as temporary changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement to address issues related to the ongoing COVID pandemic. While some of the highlights are listed below, a full copy of the temporary changes can be found here.

As well, three additional games have been postponed for COVID-related reasons: Columbus-Chicago on Dec. 28 and Pittsburgh-Toronto and Boston-Ottawa on Dec. 29. All other games currently scheduled, beginning with those on Dec. 28, remain slotted to be played on their scheduled dates.

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NHL Adjusting For COVID

 

added 3:52pm, from Elliott Friedman of Sportsnet,

While Santa was delivering goodies across the globe, the NHL and NHLPA formalized some CBA exemptions designed to give teams COVID roster relief. Here are the highlights…

GOALTENDERS: Teams will be allowed to add an additional goalie when two regulars are not available. This is in place for the rest of the season

EMERGENCY CAP EXEMPTION: From here on in, teams in danger of dressing fewer than two goalies, six defencemen or 12 forwards for a game will be able to make emergency recalls. The cap hit of any such player cannot exceed $1-million.

TAXI SQUADS:

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Reexamine The Covid Protocol

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

They are all trying to do the right thing here, the NHL and NHLPA, trying not to shut down the business and not to shut down the league in response to the omicron variant that is sweeping through much of the U.S. and Canada.

But with cases piling up and teams being decimated by multiple positives, maintaining even a veneer of competitive integrity seems to be becoming impossible. It is simply not fair for the league to insist that teams play with skeleton rosters. It is not fair to teams and it is not fair to the paying customers who on any given night might watch their team play with a hybrid NHL-AHL lineup befitting of an exhibition match.

And that is why the NHL is probably going to have to careen into the scheduled Dec. 24-25-26 holiday recess a handful of days early and extend it for a few days on the other side as well in order to get some sort of educated lay of the land.

Don’t roll your eyes at me and do not even attempt to infer any political partisanship on my behalf. I am boosted, I wear a mask where required or asked to do so, I support mandates and yes, of course, I am a member of a vulnerable class, but if players weren’t tested so regularly, up to 90 percent of them wouldn’t even know they had contracted the virus. They are asymptomatic and pose little threat to their vaccinated teammates.

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COVID Protocol In China Should Have Been Known Earlier

from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,

“We have concerns,” commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday. “We’ve expressed those to the Players’ Association. We see that a number of players are now also expressing concerns, and we’ll have to see how this all plays out.”

Bold leadership.

According to reports, the coming iteration of the Olympic handbook lays out how long visitors to China could be looking at. If you catch the bug, there is the possibility you could be quarantined for as long as five weeks. Again, this shouldn’t be startling news to a multibillion-dollar organization sending a couple of hundred people to Beijing. It’s already standard operating procedure under Chinese law.

The Olympics begin on Feb. 4 and end on Feb. 20. What if you test positive on the 19th? Do your own math here.

For now, the players’ concerns aren’t that they’ll get thrown in a jazzed-up detention camp and cut off from the outside world (those are very much my concerns). They are more concerned they won’t be paid while they’re doing their bid.

Another concern, as voiced by PA boss Donald Fehr, is whether the players will have to do this theoretical quarantine in China. Fehr is seeking “certainty” on the matter.

Sorry? How did you imagine this going?

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Once Again The Game On The Ice Is On The Back Burner

There have been instances in the past that have taken away the product on the ice from our focus but the Kyle Beach problem may be too important that the NHL may not recover from it until drastic changes are made.

As always, I will continue post articles on this topic while trying to keep you with all the action the players provide us.

It is time for changes to be made at the NHL and NHLPA level, there was too much hidden or spinning for the game to recover without these changes.

KK will not become a constant stream of reporting on the Kyle Beach problem but will post what I believe to be newsworthy.

My focus is on the game played on the ice, not all the other issues that remain today but it is becoming an issue when lead news is off the ice, something I am very careful with when posting.

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It’s Hockey Fights Cancer Month

NEW YORK/TORONTO (November 1, 2021) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced that their annual Hockey Fights Cancer campaign begins today. Since 1998, the joint initiative has raised more than $30 million, uniting the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families.

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NHL Players In Control Of Donald Fehr’s Fate

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It now falls on the rank and file of NHL players to determine in what kind of world they would like to live in the wake of the revelations exposing the institutional betrayal of Kyle Beach, who identified himself this week as the “John Doe” at the epicenter of the investigation of the Blackhawks.

It falls on the players themselves — not on Gary Bettman, not on Don Fehr, not on the law firm of Jenner & Block — to determine whether they wish to be a part of a Players’ Association that failed to protect Beach, or to forge a new direction under new leadership whose mission will be to place each union member’s health and safety as its highest priority.

There is no question the Chicago organization and NHL failed Beach, whose allegations of sexual abuse by the club’s then-video coach, Brad Aldrich, were set aside for a more convenient time back in 2010 when the Blackhawks were aiming at their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. That convenient time never quite seemed to come. But let’s face it. The business of business is to protect itself.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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