The NHL has introduced relaxed COVID-19 protocols for playoff teams with traveling parties that have been at least 85% fully vaccinated for two weeks.
The easements will permit players to gather socially outside of team facilities, eat and drink outdoors at restaurants, and spend time in each other's hotel rooms.
Additionally, face coverings and social distancing will no longer be required for team meetings and social gatherings, and players won't need to receive PCR testing on off days.
The changes will only affect American-based teams for now. However, players on Canadian teams are starting to receive their first vaccine shots, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
The modifications are subject to withdrawal for multiple reasons, such as a COVID-19 outbreak. The protocols could also be adjusted if the NHL reaches a deal with the Canadian government to allow cross-border travel during the third and fourth rounds of the playoffs.
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner criticized the NHL in April for its handling of restrictions for vaccinated players, saying the league had failed to keep its promises to ease protocols.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly disputed Lehner's claim that any promises were made to players regarding post-vaccination protocol changes.