NHL eyes training camp start date, sends players home amid coronavirus

Mar 16, 2020, 1:26 PM | Updated: 1:28 pm
Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Wi...
Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The National Hockey League issued a statement Monday regarding directives for players as the coronavirus pandemic has paused the league’s regular season.

The NHL said players could opt to return home effective immediately, including outside of North America. Otherwise, self-quarantine should continue through at least March 27. Team facilities may be open thereafter for small-group training sessions for players “on the same basis as in the offseason.”

The statement also eyed a possible training camp start date, saying that the league’s objective is to potentially have a training camp period “roughy 45 days into the 60-day period covered by the CDC’s directive.”

This likely refers to a CDC guideline issued Sunday that said groups of 50 or more people should not gather for the next eight weeks (56 days), which would put a potential league start date at May 10. Fifteen days prior to that would be April 25, the suggested target date for the start of training camp.

Of course, things have changed quickly and that timeline is anything but solidified.

A start of training camp on April 25, which seems like the most optimistic scenario herein, would put the NHL well beyond what would’ve otherwise been the end of its regular season. The Coyotes’ final regular season game was scheduled for April 4.

It’s hard to say now whether the remaining games will get played at all or how the playoffs will be decided and played or canceled altogether. The NCAA canceled the rest of its basketball events just as the sport crescendoed into its postseason.

Penguin Air

Arizona Coyotes

Juuso Valimaki #4 of the Arizona Coyotes fist bumps J.J. Moser #90 of the Arizona Coyotes after Mos...
Associated Press

Arizona Coyotes’ 3rd period rally comes up short in loss to Wild

Nick Schmaltz scored in his third straight game, but the Minnesota Wild held off the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 Sunday.
2 days ago
Arizona Coyotes right wing Dylan Guenther (11) shoots while pursued by Detroit Red Wings left wing ...
Associated Press

Coyotes comeback falls short in shootout loss to Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shouts to his team from the bench during the first half of an N...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Sports Thanksgiving: 5 things fans can be thankful for

Arizona sports faced a lot of unexpected events in 2022. However, here are five things fans can be thankful for this holiday season.
6 days ago
Nick Schmaltz #8 of the Arizona Coyotes scores a goal and celebrates with teammates Travis Boyd #72...
Associated Press

Coyotes shut out Hurricanes, Lawson Crouse scores two goals in win

Karel Vejmelka made 36 saves, and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 on Wednesday night to stop a four-game slide.
6 days ago
Toronto Maple Leafs Curtis Douglas (53) puts a hit on Montreal Canadiens Rem Pitlick (32) during th...
Jake Anderson

Coyotes trade D Conor Timmins in exchange for Maple Leafs C Curtis Douglas

The Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday traded defenseman Conor Timmins to the Toronto Maple Leafs for center Curtis Douglas, the team announced.
6 days ago
Nashville Predators' Ryan McDonagh (27) checks Arizona Coyotes' Liam O'Brien (38) to the ice in the...
Associated Press

Arizona Coyotes fall to Predators in 7th round of shootout

The Predators rallied to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 Monday night after a lengthy shootout in Nashville.
8 days ago
NHL eyes training camp start date, sends players home amid coronavirus