The NHL Will Reportedly Stop Testing Asymptomatic Players

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The NHL Will Reportedly Stop Testing Asymptomatic Players

Chicago Blackhawks

On Tuesday morning, multiple reports surfaced that the NHL would be altering their COVID testing protocols. Following the NHL All-Star break (February 4-5), the league will reportedly no longer require players who are asymptomatic from COVID to be tested.

The caveat being if COVID rates continue to decline around the league.

The NHL was hit hard by COVID in early December, leading to nearly 100 games being postponed due to the outbreak, with a number of other Canadian games being postponed due to capacity limits in arenas, due to the rise in COVID cases in those provinces. The only time players who are not showing symptoms of COVID will be tested will be for U.S.-Canada border crossing.

While cases have started to plateau and decline, there is still the risk of the virus spreading across players and staff even if they are asymptomatic. That’s how a virus works. But the NHL is apparently accepting that risk for the sake of finishing their normal 82-game schedule for the 2021-22 season as close to on-time as possible.

With the league not sending players to the Olympics in Beijing this year, the three-week break in the NHL schedule following the All-Star break is expected the be used to re-schedule many of the previously postponed games. That re-scheduling of games is expected to be announced as early as tomorrow.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.