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NHL to allow small group workouts in early June

The league’s testing the waters.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is planning the resumption of the season, but gingerly. Today, the league released a memo regarding plans for small group workouts to begin by early June.

Before anyone begins to celebrate anything, it’s fair to point out that this is a very slow and cautious re-opening of league activities on a very small scale.

Practice rinks are open again, and small on and off ice workouts are allowed. Only one trainer and one conditioning coach are allowed in the facilities at any time, so full practices are a ways away. Players will be tested two days before beginning participation and twice weekly after that.

Six players will be allowed on the ice for non-contact practices. Aside from on-ice activities and off-ice training, they will be required to maintain six feet of distance and wear masks (which seems pointless after participating in on-ice drills).

Players can also participate in drills in the city that they live, if they live close to a NHL practice facility. Those who do not but who do still want to participate will, presumably, have to travel.

The league’s memo did not discuss any measures after phase two of the re-opening, so there’s no word on how long this will last or when the league will begin brief training camps to prepare players for the resumption of the season or playoffs.