The Canadian government is expected to reduce the quarantine period for NHL players moving across the border from 14 days to seven, according to David Cochrane of the CBC.
The new measures, signed off by provinces with NHL teams, will also include additional COVID-19 testing.
As the April 12 NHL trade deadline approaches, teams will be more inclined to make move knowing players needing to cross the border will only have to sit out a week. Pierre-Luc Dubois, after being dealt from Columbus to Winnipeg, missed seven games while experiencing the two-week quarantine.
“It felt good to finally get out there,” Dubois said. “Two weeks of just working out in your living room keeps you, to a certain extent, in shape, but there’s nothing like skating out there…”
With the quarantine time reduction, the next issue for the NHL and Canadian government to figure out is where the North Division champion will play once we get to the Stanley Cup Semifinals.
“We’ve got a little bit of time to deal with this,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told the AP earlier this month. “I can’t certainly promise any result, and we’ll work through the process and we’ll see what the result is and we’ll respond appropriately. But in terms of timeline, I don’t think there’s any kind of firm deadline that we have to meet to accomplish a change in plans if that’s necessary.”
One idea is having the North Division rep play its home games in a U.S. city, but with the third round next not expected to get under way until mid-June, a decision isn’t needed right away.