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NHL extends isolation period for players, staff

Paul Boyer, head equipment manager of The Detroit Red Wings, wheels out equipment bags in the hallway of Capital One Arena on March 12 in Washington. (AP file photo)

The NHL is extending its recommendation for players and staff to self-isolate and stay away from team facilities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Tuesday confirmed 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 league over the past two days has held conference calls with its Board of Governors and general managers to inform them about and take questions regarding the current situation. Daly told The Associated Press by email the calls provided updates on various issues.

There is still no clarity on when the NHL might resume its season, though the CDC’s recommendation of no gatherings of 50 or more people until mid-May is expected to factor into the timing. The league and Players’ Association told players they could go home and self-isolate until the end of March.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said recently the decision to resume play would be made in accordance with health officials. The league is working on various scenarios about what a potential return to play could look like.

Lonnie Lockhart cleans the safety glass as the ice is resurfaced at American Airlines Arena, home of the Dallas Stars, on March 12 in Dallas. The NHL announced that day that it was suspending its season indefinitely in response to the coronavirus. (AP file photo)

Bettman remains optimistic about resuming this season and awarding the Stanley Cup. That could mean 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.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Connor Ingram is shown during an NHL preseason game against the Nashville Predators in Tampa, Fla., in September 2018. (AP file photo)

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