NHL revises COVID rules

The NHL announced today that they are revising the rules when it comes to testing for the COVID-19 virus.  The rules are being relaxed and it means that all teams including the New York Rangers will benefit. The new rules kick in after February 3.

Here are the headlines:

  • The NHL will stop testing players and staff who are fully vaccinated during the All-Star break unless symptoms develop or it is required due to travel.
  • After the All -Star break there will be one test as players return to their teams.
  • After the “re-entry” test there will be no more testing of asymptomatic players. The only testing will be of anyone who develops symptoms or needs to be tested in order to cross a border.
  • Anyone how has had COVID does not need to be tested for 90 days (that was the prior rule).

While the enhanced protocols established after the omicron variance became an issue will remain in effect for the time being.  The NHL also said that the five day isolation period is working well with a majority of the players exiting after five days.

13 New York Rangers players have entered the COVID protocol with Alexis Lafrenière the only player still unable to compete.  The Rangers have been one of the teams with the fewest cases.  Tampa has had the fewest cases with only nine. The players have been Julien Gauthier, Alexandar Georgiev, Barclay Goodrow, Lafrenière , Ryan Lindgren, Greg McKegg, Patrik Nemeth, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Reaves, Kevin Rooney, Igor Shesterkin, Ryan Strome and Jarred Tinordi.   Mika Zibanejad was on the list, but it was a false positive so it was only for one day.

Coaches Gerard Gallant, Gord Murphy and Mike Kelly have all been in the protocol.

As far as the New York area teams, the New Jersey Devils have had 21 players in the protocol and the Islanders have had 19 players.

The NHL had had to postpone 104 games so far this season with the Rangers having four postponements.