It has been a busy 24 hours when it comes to off-ice dealings between the NHL and its players. On Thursday, the league announced how it will handle unvaccinated players in the coming season. On Friday, the two sides officially announced it planned on participating in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The NHL-NHLPA partnership for the Winter Games was not unexpected although a month ago it did not look good.
The NHL, NHLPA, the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation agreed Friday on a deal which will allow the best players in the world to attend the Olympics for the first time since 2014 in Socchi.
NHL players did not participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
Now, barring another Covid-19 crisis which would allow the NHL to back out of the Games, the schedule the league released earlier this summer will stick.
The NHL’s All-Star Weekend will be held in Las Vegas on Feb. 4-5; players would fly to China on Feb. 6.
Florida players who may be on those flights include Sasha Barkov, Anton Lundell and Markus Nutivaara (Finland); Sergei Bobrovsky (Russia); Patric Hornqvist (Sweden); Radko Gudas (Czech); Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad (Canada).
As for the new Covid-19 protocols, if an unvaccinated player tests positive and misses games, they will not be paid. If a vaccinated player tests positive, it will be handled as a normal injury.
Also, unvaccinated players will be restricted to limited off-ice activities such as being able to use team workout facilities, leave the team hotel to eat while on the road and interact with teammates away from the rink.
FLORIDA PANTHERS LINKS
The Panthers hired Bill Zito a year ago. The transformation of the team is not complete, but it has definitely been impressive. (Florida Hockey Now)
— Need a holiday gift for your favorite Florida Panthers fan? Jonathan Huberdeau Funko Pop figurines are available for pre-order now. (FHN)
AROUND THE NHL
Check out all the rules and regulations players will have to deal with this season. Obviously, unvaccinated players are going to have to deal with some things. (SportsNet)
— More on the NHL players going to Beijing. (TSN)
— The Penguins added veteran goalie Louis Domingue as he signed a two-way, one-way deal.(PittsburghHockeyNow)
— The Coyotes are officially looking to build an arena in Tempe. (Arizona Sports)
— The Flyers signed Joel Farabee to a six-year contract.(PhillyHockeyNow)
— Detroit signed Carter Rowney on Thursday.(DetroitHockeyNow)
— The Avalanche announced their prospect camp roster — and it looks pretty stacked.(ColoradoHockeyNow)
— Logan Mailloux will not start the season in the OHL after the controversial first-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens was suspended until at least 2022.(CP)