While there remains plenty of potential scheduling options for the NHL's eventual return, Bill Daly said the league doesn't wish to go down any road that would cut into an 82-game schedule next season.
"The only definite for us is we certainly don't want to do anything around a resumption of play this season that will impact our ability to have a full season next year," the deputy commissioner told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside on the "Two-Man Advantage" podcast Wednesday.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL hasn't yet determined a timeline for resuming play. Earlier this week, the league told players they can fly home but must self-quarantine through March 27. That came one day after the CDC advised against gatherings of 50-plus people for the next eight weeks.
The league paused its 2019-20 campaign last Thursday amid the coronavirus outbreak. The stoppage came after the NBA did the same one night prior in the wake of Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert testing positive.
On Tuesday night, the Ottawa Senators confirmed one of their players has also been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Daly told LeBrun and Burnside he's not aware of any other positive tests and noted that while the Senators case is the first involving an NHL player, they are handling it just as they would had it been anyone else.
"The fact that it’s a player as opposed to a club staff member or a front office staff person really doesn’t change the approach in terms of how you have to deal with it," Daly said.
The relative of a Buffalo Sabres employee who attended a recent game tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the club confirmed Tuesday. On Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks said a member of their full-time office staff tested positive, as did a part-time employee at San Jose's SAP Center, as the Sharks revealed last Thursday.