The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they are “voluntarily sidelining” nine players from their training camp roster after potential secondary exposure to an individual who tested positive for the coronavirus.
NHL training camps opened on Monday, with teams scheduled to travel to hub cities on July 26 and begin games on Aug. 1. The Penguins will face the Montreal Canadiens in a five-game qualification round series.
“The team learned of the possible secondary exposure on Sunday, July 12,” the Penguins announced in a statement on Monday. “The decision to isolate this group of players was made out of an abundance of caution in an effort to avoid exposure to anyone else within the organization. The nine players will not participate until they are deemed safe in accordance with NHL protocol and further test results.”
According to the protocols agreed upon by the NHL and NHLPA, all players and personnel that are designated to have “player access” are tested 48 hours before returning to the facility for training camp and then on an every-other-day basis during training camp. In the hub cities, the players, team staffers and everyone inside the bubble that could have contact with players will be tested daily.
The NHL is allowing teams to bring extended rosters to the hub cities; camp rosters can include 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies.
The NHL has prohibited teams from releasing injury or COVID-19 news about their players during the summer restart. The league will not identify any players or teams that have tested positive.
“Essentially in this country, what we believe in is that certain medical things are private unless somebody chooses to make them public. That’s difficult to maintain in an industry like ours, but you do the best you can across the board,” NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told ESPN on Sunday. “If the people who are betting on games think the information is insufficient to make a bet, they shouldn’t bet.”