When the NHL was organizing the Return to Play plan for the 2019-20 post-season using a hub-city model, they hoped families could be able to join players in the bubble once the tournament reached the Conference Finals, with the number of teams involved reduced by that time.
However, as Chris Johnston reported Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada's 'Headlines' segment, no resolution has been reached at this time regarding families joining players in the bubble.
"Really, this matter is still hung up with the government," Johnston said. "There’s been extensive discussions with the NHL, the Player’s Association and the federal government, and to this point there’s no resolution on particularly family members that have to travel up from the U.S., in terms of how long they might have to quarantine once they get into the bubble in Edmonton."
The Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights have earned their spots in the Conference Finals. With all four teams based in the United States, it makes the coordination of travel and quarantine more difficult because of Canada's quarantine rules for international travellers.
"There’s some hope that there’ll be a resolution here in the coming days on this matter but certainly families won’t be there, except for maybe the odd one that was already here in Canada and can travel to Edmonton that way when the Conference Finals start," Johnston said.
Players reported for training camp in the NHL's third phase of the Return to Play on July 13, then travelled to the two NHL bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton on July 26.
"Talking to some players, I think the biggest concern for them is that if they’re in the position to win a Stanley Cup in a few weeks’ time, you know obviously they want their kids there, their partners there," Johnston said.