By STEPHEN WHYNO and JOHN WAWROW
AP Hockey Writers
The NHL is extending its recommendation for players and staff to self-isolate and stay away from team facilities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Multiple people with knowledge of the recommendation told The Associated Press on Tuesday the NHL has asked that players and staff extend their self-quarantine 10 days beyond the original March 27 timeline to April 6 — further pushing back the earliest team facilities can reopen. The people spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the the NHL hadn’t formally announced the change in protocol.
The league over the past two days has held conference calls with its Board of Governors and general managers to update them on and take questions regarding the current situation. There is still no clarity on when the NHL might resume its season.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said recently the decision to resume play would be made in accordance with health officials. He has also said the league is working on various scenarios about what a potential return to play could look like.
The league remains optimistic about resuming this season and awarding the Stanley Cup, even if it means playing games deep into the summer or early fall.
The NHL plans to stage a full 2020-21 season, even if it means starting as late as November.
Two Ottawa Senators players tested positive for COVID-19, and six others were tested with results pending. The league has said its medical experts do not recommend mass testing for players or staff unless they exhibit symptoms.
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