Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

NHL evaluating allowing players access to team facilities

The National Hockey League has begun the process of looking into players having access to team facilities, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported Saturday.

Citing an Adrian Wojnarowski report that the NBA is opening some facilities in states where stay-at-home restrictions have been loosened, Kaplan said the NHL is examining the same.

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According to Wojnarowski, NBA teams are allowing players to return to team facilities, such as Georgia, for voluntary individual workouts as soon as next week.

In markets where more restrictive governance of stay-at-home-orders remain in place, the NBA is telling teams that the league will work with franchises to help find alternative arrangements for their players, sources said.

The NBA’s decision to re-open facilities based on the loosening of local governmental policies isn’t reflective of a new timetable for a resumption of play this season, sources said. Commissioner Adam Silver and owners still believe they need more time for a clearer picture on whether, when or how they could possibly resume the season, sources said.

Many team executives have been clamoring for the chance to get players back into their facilities, which they believe to be among the safest possible environments around the pandemic. On a conference call with general managers and Silver on Thursday, some GMs said they had players asking about the possibility of traveling to Atlanta to work out in fitness centers with gymnasiums, an idea that concerned many team executives, sources said.

It’s clear that we’re still a long way from seeing pro sports back on TV which is a tough pill to swallow. But, this is a breath of good news in terms of things¬†hopefully being back sooner rather than later.

The NHL, like any league looking to relaunch, needs to tread carefully and make sure that nobody’s health is being put at risk.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

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