NHL Confirms 9 New Positive COVID-19 Tests; 35 Players Have Been Diagnosed

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2020

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to members of the media , Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The NHL announced nine additional players tested positive for COVID-19 during its most recent round of tests, bringing the total to 35 since beginning testing in June.

Eight players tested positive under the league's Phase 2 testing at team facilities, and another tested positive outside of the protocol. Of the 396 players who have reported to their team for Phase 2, there have been 23 positive tests. The additional 12 are players who tested positive outside of the protocol.

The NHL has yet to announce a date or location for the resumption of the 2019-20 season. It's expected the league will return in late July at two centralized hubs, with Canadian cities Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, reportedly being the favorites. COVID-19 rates are significantly lower in Canada than in the U.S.

The NHL is bringing back 24 teams and jumping immediately into an expanded postseason. Play will open with a best-of-five qualifying round, which will consist of seed Nos. 5-12 playing their way into the standard, 16-team format. Each round will be reseeded to favor the higher-seeded teams.

Players who test positive for COVID-19 will be subject to a mandatory quarantine period.