By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Less than two weeks into Phase 2 of their four-phase Return To Play plans, the National Hockey League has confirmed 11 positive tests for COVID-19, the league announced in a statement Friday night.
“Since NHL Clubs were permitted to open their training facilities on June 8, all Players entering these facilities for voluntary training have been subject to mandatory testing for COVID-19. Through today, in excess of 200 Players have undergone multiple testing,” the statement read. “A total of 11 of these Players have tested positive. All Players who have tested positive have been self-isolated and are following CDC and Health Canada protocols.”
Earlier in the day, the Tampa Bay Lightning confirmed the temporary closing of their training facility following positive tests for three players, as well as additional staff members.
Shortly after that, word broke that Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews, who has been skating on his own in Arizona, had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Toronto Sun. The Maple Leafs would not confirm or deny the Sun’s report and released a statement of their own, noting that a person’s medical information in this regard is private.
The NHL is currently scheduled to move to Phase 3, which will feature a full-squad training camp for about three weeks with the hopes of returning to play (Phase 4), on July 10.