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NHL plans daily testing of players during playoffs when and if games resume

Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno, right, controls the puck in front of the Minnesota Wild’s Joel Eriksson Ek in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 28. (AP file photo)

Nick Foligno watches Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus briefings and appreciates the value of the information.

It is part of the reason the Columbus Blue Jackets captain supports NHL players undergoing daily testing if the season resumes.

“Testing is a must because it’s the only way you’re going to know and feel confident every time you step on the ice that everyone is in the same boat as you and you can play the game to the best of your ability,” Foligno said.

The first major North American professional sports league to announce a format for its potential return to competition also has a comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy. There are screening protocols in place for voluntary workouts and training camps in the hands of individual teams. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly also said the NHL plans to test all players every day when games start happening.

“We will have a rigorous daily testing protocol where players are tested every evening and those results are obtained before they would leave their hotel rooms the next morning, so we’ll know if we have a positive test and whether the player has to self-quarantine himself as a result of that positive test,” Daly said.

The Blackhawks' Duncan Keith, right, talks with teammate Nicolas Beaudin during the third period against the San Jose Sharks on March 11 in Chicago. (AP file photo)

Each test costs approximately $125, the league says, and Commissioner Gary Bettman estimated 25,000-35,000 will be needed to get through the playoffs.

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