It could be a while until NHL players and staff will roam free thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The NHL has extended its self-quarantine period an additional seven days to April 15, according to NHL Network’s Chris Johnston. This is the third time the league has extended the quarantine period since the 2019-20 season was paused March 12.
So, unless there's a huge flattening of the curve with COVID-19 in the next 10 days or so, that self-quarantine period will likely be extended by the NHL again.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 31, 2020
All things considered, this likely won’t be the last time the NHL will extend self-quarantine. As Johnston noted, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly recently said the league would tackle these periods “in chunks.”
NHL chief medical officer Dr. Willem Meeuwisse even has called the league’s restart date “very difficult to predict.”
Several teams are located in areas where stay-at-home orders are being enforced, as well. In Massachusetts, where the Boston Bruins call home, governor Charlie Baker has extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 4. Other teams — including the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils — are facing similar orders in their respective states.
So for now, at least, the NHL remains in a holding pattern.