(Ottawa) Discussions are underway to allow the NHL Northern Division team to play their home matches in Canada in the last two rounds of the Stanley Cup qualifiers against a US side.
Sources in the two federal governments confirmed that a scenario is being considered in which the two teams are exempted from the mandatory quarantine for a period of 14 days, which is currently applied in Canada upon return from the United States.
These sources requested anonymity as they are not authorized to speak publicly about this matter.
They noted that the NHL was already working with public health for the counties that still had a comma team – Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba – to get approval for their protocols. Discussions will also take place with the cities concerned, namely Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg.
When the association obtains approval from the various municipal and regional levels, it intends to submit a formal application to the Federal Immigration Minister, Marco Mendesino, which should represent the last step in the process.
An NHL spokesperson said the league is awaiting responses from governments.
The winner of the seventh game scheduled for Monday evening in the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leaves will cross with the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.
And meet the Northern Division champion after that with an American team in the semi-finals. It will be the first confrontation between a Canadian team and an American team this season.
In April, players who were traded on the trading deadline were given permission to reduce the quarantine period to seven days.
The NHL added that if Canadian authorities refuse to ease restrictions on travel to the US, the Canadian team participating in the semi-finals, and possibly the final, will have to move to the US in a temporary home.
Other Canadian professional teams have had to move to the United States this season to avoid quarantine. Such is the case with CF Montreal in football, other Canadian teams in MLS, Toronto Raptors in basketball and Toronto Blue Jays in major baseball.
With information from Joshua Clipperton