The NHL announced that 27 players confirmed positive COVID-19 tests during training camps, which concluded on Tuesday.
17 of those players were members of the Dallas Stars, which closed their training facilities after the outbreak last Friday. Dallas’ first three games – Thursday and Friday in Florida and Sunday in Tampa Bay – have been postponed. The defending Western Conference champions are now temporarily set to open in the Stanley Cup Final rematch at Lightning on 19 January.
The NHL said that most of the Dallas players were asymptomatic and all of them “are currently recovering without any complication.”
Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said this week that the Stars would be able to play when they could put a competitive team on the ice “without jeopardizing the health and safety of the players”.
The league opened its 56-game 2020-21 regular season on Wednesday.
Training camp trials were conducted over a period of two weeks from 30 December. On January 11, 12,000 trials were conducted to over 1,200 players.
The players who tested positive in the President were not identified. This policy changes in the regular season, when any player is confirmed with a positive test, or a player who is exiting due to contact-tracing concerns will be publicly named.
Commissioner Gary Bateman said, “The purpose of having protocol is not to punish people.” “The purpose of having a protocol is to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. We are seeing compliance in almost the entire league. Trial numbers have been very good.”