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Doctor suggests full face shields, no fighting if hockey resumes

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An infectious disease specialist believes hockey may have to take extra precautions to be played safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The doctor relayed a number of suggestions to TSN's Ryan Rishaug on Monday:

  • Full face shields, potentially modified to further reduce the spread of droplets
  • No fighting
  • No scrums after whistles for linesmen to break up
  • Coaches to practice social distancing and wear face masks on the bench
  • Wingers to maintain two feet of distance on faceoffs instead of the traditional crossing of sticks and leaning into the same space
  • No spitting on ice or the bench

Some of the recommendations - such as no scrums or spitting, for example - may be difficult to enforce during a game. Any such changes would have to be approved by the NHL Players' Association before they could be implemented, Rishaug notes.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly doesn't think the drastic measures will be needed.

"We would consider anything our infectious disease experts and advisors might recommend," Daly told Rishaug. "But I'm not sure given the circumstances of our game that any dramatic modifications will really be necessary."

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