Could growing number of positive cases affect the NHL's return?
The National Hockey League announced Friday night that 11 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since Phase 2 of the league's return-to-play plan started on June 8.
The NHL says they've tested more than 200 players multiple times since training facilities began opening earlier this month.
"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. The NHL will provide a weekly update on the numbers of tests administered to players and the results of those tests. The league will not be providing information on the identity of the players or their clubs."
The NHL also noted that they would not reveal the identities of any of the players who test positive for COVID-19. Earlier Friday, the Toronto Maple Leafs released a similar statement, saying they "will not be commenting on reports surrounding testing for any of the club's players or staff," after a report came down of one of its players testing positive.
Also on Friday, the Tampa Bay Lightning were forced to temporarily shut down their training facility during Phase 2 because multiple players and some staff tested positive for COVID-19, according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. McKenzie believes it's three players and two staff members who tested positive and adds that remaining players and staff are being tested. The expectation is the training facility will re-open if there are no more positive tests.
NHL training camps, otherwise known as Phase 3 of the league’s return-to-play plan, are expected to start on July 10.