On Thursday night, the NHL announced that Phase 2 of the NHL Return To Play plan can commence on Monday. On Friday morning, Boston Hockey Now confirmed that a fresh sheet of ice has been reinstalled and will be waiting at Warrior Arena for Boston Bruins players who show up for voluntary skates and off-ice workouts at the team’s practice facility in Brighton, MA on Monday.
“The ice is physically down,” a Bruins source confirmed to BHN.
Speaking to the media in a Zoom call on May 27, Bruins President Cam Neely said the team was already preparing for Phase 2 and Phase 3 (training camp) of the NHL Return but he was unsure if the ice would be ready.
“We’re walking through it and making sure we have everything in place,” Neely said. “From sanitizing to temperatures, to making sure that the groups are spaced well enough apart. So we can clean in between each group. It’s groups of six, so we feel like, potentially, by the time we’re able to go we could have three groups of six rotating, but we don’t know the full extent of the numbers yet of players that will be here when we have ice up and running.”
Two days after that call and then later again this past Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker confirmed that local pro sports teams could reopen their practice facilities tomorrow.
“We’ve had positive conversations with our professional sports teams, the Celtics, the Bruins, the Patriots, the Red Sox, and the Revolution,” Baker said at the time. “This (executive) order also will allow professional sports teams to begin practicing at their facilities in compliance with the health and safety rules the leagues are developing. Facilities are still closed to the public at this time.
I know we still aren’t at the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet, the leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”
Here are the details for Phase 2 of the NHL Return plan that the NHL described in its press release Thursday night:
Beginning June 8 – subject to each Club’s satisfaction of all of the requirements set out in the Phase 2 Protocol – Clubs will be permitted to reopen their training facilities in their home city to allow players to participate in individualized training activities (off-ice and on-ice). Players will be participating on a voluntary basis and will be scheduled to small groups (i.e., a maximum of six Players at any one time, plus a limited number of Club staff). The various measures set out in the Phase 2 Protocol are intended to provide players with a safe and controlled environment in which to resume their conditioning. Phase 2 is not a substitute for training camp.
All necessary preparations for Phase 2, including those that require Player participation (education, diagnostic testing, scheduling for medicals, etc.), can begin immediately. The NHL and the NHLPA continue to negotiate over an agreement on the resumption of play.