The NHL instructed players on Monday to self-quarantine through March 27.
The pro hockey league announced in a statement that “effective immediately” players have the option to return home with self-quarantining continuing through March 27, “unless a longer period may be required in accordance with local mandates related to travel.”
It said it will consider opening team facilities to hockey players in “scheduled and coordinated small groups” as it does during the off-season.
“Our objective will be that, in addition to continuing regular updates, we will be able to provide high-level guidance on the potential of opening a training camp period roughly 45 days into the 60-day period covered by the CDC's directive,” the league said in a statement, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC on Sunday recommended that Americans avoid hosting or gathering at events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.
The NHL announced effective immediately, players can opt to return home and self-quarantine should continue within the player's home through and including March 27. https://t.co/SFHBujV1Bz— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) March 16, 2020
The NHL suspended its season due to the coronavirus outbreak, following in the NBA's and Major League Soccer’s footsteps.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that officials hope to “resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent.”
The NHL has not given out the Stanley Cup two times before — once during the 1918-1919 season because of the Spanish flu and another during the 2004-2005 season because of a yearlong lockout.