The 2021-22 NHL season is just over a month away, and it appears the league and its Players’ Association have finalized their protocols surrounding COVID-19.
According to SportNet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL will be able to suspend an unvaccinated player if they cannot participate in “club activities,” meaning if they are unable to travel due to state or federal guidelines.
“Such individuals would “forfeit the equivalent of one day?s pay for each day” they are precluded from participating,” Friedman reported.
There are exceptions such as medical and “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
But should an unvaccinated player test positive not for an exempt reason, they will risk loss of pay. They also will be tested daily. Vaccinated players who test positive will be treated like it is a “hockey-related injury.”
Basically, the NHL and NHLPA are coming down hard on unvaccinated players. Here are a few things that unvaccinated players won’t be able to do:
— Enter any venues that aren’t the team hotel, practice and/or game arena.
— Cannot use hotel amenities like the pool, sauna and gym.
— No visitors to their hotel room (with the exception of fully vaccinated family members only).
— Cannot leave the hotel to eat or use the bar area.
— Pick up of food that is delivered cannot happen.
At the end of the day, the NHL is not requiring its players to be vaccinated by any means, but they certainly are taking it seriously when it comes to protecting the vaccinated players and their families, as well as the staff and other teammates.