Thus far, Canadian government officials have not offered an abundance of special treatment to professional sports leagues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Toronto Raptors temporarily relocated to Tampa, Fla., for the 2020-21 NBA season because teams are unable to travel in and out of Canada without observing quarantines, and the NHL had to create a division of Canadian-only clubs so those franchises could participate in the current campaign. 

However, CBC News and ESPN’s Emily Kaplan report that the Canadian government is on the verge of shortening quarantine periods from 14 days to seven for NHL players traded from American teams to Canadian sides ahead of the deadline for such transactions that’s set for April 12. Canadian provinces that are homes to NHL franchises have approved of the decision. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois joined the Winnipeg Jets from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 23 but missed seven games, in total, after that trade while observing a 14-day quarantine. As Kaplan noted, Dubois suffered a lower-body injury during his second contest following the lengthy break. 

Per NBC Sports, the NHL unveiled rapid-testing protocols for U.S.-based teams in February. It’s hoped such monitoring coupled with a seven-day quarantine will prevent virus outbreaks among Canadian clubs that trade for players on U.S. teams before or on April 12. 

Currently, the Montreal Canadiens are on a coronavirus-related pause through the weekend and have had four games postponed this week. 

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