NHL announced in a press release on Wednesday That all except four players are vaccinated.
big picture: Of more than 700 players this season, only four have not been vaccinated, with the NHL having a 99% vaccination rate, according to NPR.
- All NHL officials and “personnel who come into contact with players” are also vaccinated, but it is unclear how many personnel are included per NPR in league figures.
big picture: The NHL introduced its non-vaccination policy last month, with several restrictions for unvaccinated players
- Unvaccinated players will be tested daily and will not be allowed to go anywhere on the road except in the team hotel, practice facility and arena. According to ESPN.
- Teams may suspend unvaccinated players who are “unable to participate in club activities”. athletic Report. According to ESPN, unvaccinated players will have to pay one day’s salary for each day, unless they have a valid religious reason or medical excuse.
- But if a vaccinated player contracts COVID-19, it will “for all purposes be treated as a hockey-related injury,” per ESPN.
of note: five players – including Colorado Star Forward Nathan McKinnon– entered the NHL COVID-19 protocol on opening day, according to the statement.
What are they saying: Commissioner Gary Bateman cited the NHL and the NHL Players Association as saying, “Everyone banded together to do the right thing. Maybe that’s why hockey is the ultimate team sport.”
- “We continue to reinforce the fact that everyone has to be vigilant, especially when we have traveling teams like ours, so we don’t lose sight of that fact,” Bateman said.
What will happen next: The NHL season began this week and will continue for the next several months.