What to expect as NHL gives teams approval for offseason group workouts in October

Photo by Mike Penhollow / Boston Bruins

There still is no official start date for training camp and the 2020-21 NHL season, but training facilities and team rinks could start to be populated by players in less than three weeks.

The NHL released a 19-page memo on Thursday detailing its offseason training protocols, which — along with stressing the expected safety protocols in the time of COVID-19 — will welcome small groups of players back on the ice starting October 15th.

The basic parameters of these offseason workouts state that a team must receive advance notice from at least five players that they intend to use the facility for off-season training — with a maximum of 12 persons to be permitted on the ice at any one time.

Most of the measures and protocols mapped out in this release fall in line with the 21-page memo released back in late May that highlighted the measures the league made in order to avoid outbreaks and contamination at team facilities during Phase 2 of the NHL's "Return to Play" plan — which consisted of voluntary on-ice workouts before full team training camp (Phase 3) commenced.

Here are a few highlights from the NHL's plan to allow players to keep the rust off during an offseason that could stretch into December and January: