The NHL says 15 out of more than 250 players in the league’s Phase 2 return-to-play protocol have tested positive for COVID-19 while an additional 11 players have tested positive outside of the Phase 2 protocol.
The NHL says it has tested “in excess of 250 players” at team training facilities since Phase 2 opened June 8 and those players have been tested more than 1,450 times combined.
“All players who have tested positive have been self-isolated and are following CDC and Health Canada protocols,” the league said in a statement.
Phase 2 of the NHL’s return to play protocol allows teams to host small group skates at their home city facilities. On June 19 the Tampa Bay Lightning were forced to temporarily close their practice facility after three players and other staff tested positive for the coronavirus. That facility re-opened on June 24.
Phase 3, which includes training camps, is scheduled to begin July 10, although Sportsnet’s Elliotte Fridman reports that that could be pushed back by a couple days. The NHL has said Phase 4 will be the resumption of games under the previously announced modified playoff format, but no date for those games has been confirmed yet.