CBC: The Canadian government is poised to approve a shortened seven-day quarantine with extra testing for NHL players traded from American teams to Canadian teams before the April 12 trade deadline, according to a federal government source.
The source says that all provinces with NHL teams have approved of the measures.
The seven-day mandate cuts in half the current quarantine requirement of 14 days, lessening an impediment to teams trading players across the Canada-U.S. border. The seven Canadian teams have been playing exclusively among themselves this season to prevent cross-border issues because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the six trades made since the league began a shortened 56-game season on Jan. 13, four have been between Canadian and U.S.-based teams, and three of those involved minor leaguers or prospects that didn’t affect the NHL team’s lineup.
The most significant trade of the season so far saw the Winnipeg Jets acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 23 for Patrik Laine. Dubois missed seven of Winnipeg’s games while he was in quarantine for 14 days. Laine had to quarantine for only 48 hours in going to the U.S., though his arrival in Columbus was delayed as he waited for a work visa.
Kyle Dubas deserves all the awards for campaigning on behalf of every Canadian NHL team. He made it happen because he’s a fucking boss.
We talked about this in the podcast with Oilers PXP guy Jack Michaels (real name). The 14-day quarantine is a MAJOR obstacle for Canadian teams as we get closer to the trade deadline (see Pierre Luc Dubois). If a team gives up an asset at the trade deadline, the player has to quarantine in his condo for 14 days before he’s allowed anywhere near the rink or the team. In a shortened season, the quarantine protocol around trade deadline time would have severely limited how active teams would be due to border restrictions,
If the Leafs went all in and gave up Morgan Reilly for Taylor Hall and Risto, even though Buffalo is two hours from Toronto, pandemic border restrictions would mean the Leafs would down Morgan Reilly while Taylor Hall and Rasmus Ristolainen would be locked up for two weeks with 6 weeks left in the season.
It’s not ideal, so the Canadian government is allowing players to quarantine for 7 days while the rest of us still have to do 14.
Is it fair?
You’re fucking right it is.
The difference between you and Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid? They get tested every day and live by strict ‘bubble guidelines’.
The NHL has been very rigorous with their pandemic plans, and if a player skips a test, he not only can’t play, he can’t travel with the team. The NHL is actively tracking its players and each team is forced to adhere to strict NHL mandated pandemic protocols as well.
While the optics aren’t great, it makes sense for the Canadian government to relax cross-border restrictions for NHL players and not Uncle Bill returning from a 6-month vacation in a Panhandle trailer park. Unless Uncle Bill plays for the Panthers or Lightning, he’s fucked.
Have a great weekend!