The NHL has a COVID crisis on its hands. And they are taking specific steps to address it.
The league will introduce enhanced COVID-19 protocols in order to contain the spread until at least Jan. 7, 2022, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
The decision is expected to come following a joint call between doctors from the NHL and NHLPA in order to determine how to curb the growing outbreaks that have led to numerous postponed games.
These protocols include, among other things, severe restrictions on where players can go while traveling, confining them primarily to their team facility or hotel. It will also re-introduce daily testing, with any individual who refuses to comply with this mandate being prohibited from continuing to perform their job until they do so.
According to reports, these protocols are not set to be enforced indefinitely, and will likely only continue until the league regains a handle on the number of positive tests that has recently gotten out of hand.
The NHL had already taken some measures to prevent increased outbreaks in the past few weeks, sending a memo to all 32 teams that urged players to limit contact with large groups of people while on the upcoming winter break, and canceling all team-sanctioned holiday parties.
Clearly, that wasn't enough. And now, for the time being, the NHL must take a step back in order to move forward.