As the NHL prepares to restart its season at the beginning of August by jumping straight into the NHL 2020 playoffs, it has announced it will use two hub cities for all playoffs games. The two hub cities announced both are in Canada and include Toronto and Canada.
The league released a video outlining its plans for the safety and health of all involved in the upcoming games. They also address information relating to the broadcasting of the games, the amenities for players and that fans will not be in attendance.
All personnel with the NHL will be separated from the public as agreed to with the federal government. The league furthermore will use the services of Edmonton based DynaLIFE Medical Labs and Toronto based Life Labs to carry out daily tests of all those involved.
To accommodate the feeding of players, a concierge service will be offers for delivery of food. This is in addition to fourteen restaurants that will provide food related services in a controlled environment. Speaking on this, senior executive V.P. of entertainment and events and chief content officer for the NHL, Steve Mayer, said; “We’re creating, for instance, pop-up restaurants that will feature local chefs. The food will be diverse: everything from steak to vegan, from tacos to Tim Hortons, giving our players quite a variety. And our restaurants are open from the beginning in the morning all the way to late night.”
To help with outdoor recreation, the home of the Toronto Football Club, BMO Field will act as a facility for outdoor recreation, while the singing of National anthems on opening day will be carried out by Michael Buble. Commenting, Mayer stated: “We’re really going to make opening night at night to remember.”
NHL taking precautions to ensure team and player safety
The NHL is taking all possible precautions to assist team players, coaches, assistive personal and arena staff. This was a mandated requirement in order to get permission for the league to carry out its planned playoff schedule. After submitting its plan, it was revealed the league would carry out daily testing on all personal involved including owners, hospitality workers, training staff, medical staff and those working within transportation.
In addition, the league revealed that players are required to remain in the host cities and only leave if granted special permission from the league. If given permission, upon their return, they will be forced to undergo four days of quarantine. The league is also enforcing its mask policy, one that requires personal to wear a mask at all times unless on the ice.