A source familiar with the new rules has revealed that teams will be able to suspend non-vaccinated players without pay if they are unable to participate in their team’s activities. This person spoke on condition of anonymity as the new procedures were not announced.
Fully vaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 will be treated as if they were hockey injuries and will always be paid. Coaches and other team members who interact closely with players must be fully immunized.
Movement of unvaccinated players will be restricted while in other cities. Ongoing coronavirus testing for vaccinated players will continue.
League officials estimated earlier this summer that between 90 and 95 per cent of players would be fully vaccinated before the start of training camps later this month. The season starts on October 12th.
The NHL opted for an overhaul last season to remove boundaries from the equation until the playoffs are over. The seven Canadian teams united in one division and played against each other, and the 24 teams in the United States played 56 games in their league table alone.
When the Montreal Canadiens faced Vegas and Tampa Bay in the last two rounds, returning players and staff were put in a bubble in Montreal after a deal with the Canadian government.
The NHL hosted all of the 2020 playoffs in bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton due to low virus case rates in those cities at that time.
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