International travel could be a roadblock as NHL seeks to resume season

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that players on Canadian teams such as the Maple Leafs (pictured) who are returning to the country will need to follow quarantine protocols before being allowed to rejoin their teams.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL could face another hurdle if the league decides to continue the 2019-20 season in the near future — getting non-Canadian resident players across the border to join their teams.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that players would — at a minimum — need to follow quarantine protocols if they were to arrive in Canada while the border remains closed due to the pandemic.

“I think it’s a question we’ll have to look into,” Trudeau said. “Certainly at a strict minimum, anyone who arrives from another country will have to follow all the rules of quarantine in an extremely strict manner, but we’re not there yet in our discussions with the NHL.”

“We recognize that it’s a possibility, but it depends on an enormous amount of things, and I don’t want to speculate on this until there’s more discussion,” he said.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week that Edmonton and Toronto were being looked at as possible “hockey pod” cities that could host the remainder of the NHL season during the summer months. Games would be played in air-conditioned arenas without fans.