Report: NHL teams can suspend unvaccinated players with exceptions

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NHL clubs will be able to ban players who decline to get vaccinated if they can't take part in team activities, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

That includes if an unvaccinated player isn't allowed to travel due to regulations in a jurisdiction, according to Friedman. A player would be docked one day's salary for each day he's unable to be with his team.

Medical reasons and "sincerely held" religious beliefs are reportedly among the exceptions to the policy.

Players who want to opt out of the upcoming season can do so by Oct. 1 if they're unvaccinated or can prove an immediate family member in the same household is at high risk of becoming severely ill if they contract the virus. The club will then get 30 days to determine whether to roll the player's contract over to next season or strike 2021-22 from the pact.

A player who opts out can't play in another league or the Olympics.

Testing will continue this season, and fully vaccinated players will undergo PCR exams at least every three days, while unvaccinated players will be tested every day. The NHL will treat any fully vaccinated player's positive COVID-19 test as a hockey-related injury in accordance with the league's CBA.

Unvaccinated players will essentially live in a bubble, according to Friedman. They won't be allowed into "internal venues" on the road aside from the arena, practice rink, and team hotel. They also won't be permitted to use shared facilities at the hotel or host visitors in their hotel room other than fully vaccinated family members. Unvaccinated players also aren't allowed to eat or drink at establishments that are open to the public.

Fully vaccinated and masked media members will be able to interview players in dressing rooms, according to The Athletic's Michael Russo.

It's estimated that 95% of NHL players are fully vaccinated, an increase of about 10% from mid-August, a source told Russo.

Numerous businesses and leagues have recently implemented vaccination policies while many areas of North America struggle to contain the Delta variant of the coronavirus. The NBA will reportedly require players to be vaccinated in places where mandates are already in place, and all NBA referees must be vaccinated.

Report: NHL teams can suspend unvaccinated players with exceptions
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