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Some family members allowed to join NHL bubble for conference finals

Canadian relatives of the Lightning and the other teams who are already in the country can enter the bubble in Edmonton immediately as long as they adhere to quarantine regulations.
The JW Marriott in Edmonton, home of the NHL playoff bubble, is surrounded by fencing Aug. 24.
The JW Marriott in Edmonton, home of the NHL playoff bubble, is surrounded by fencing Aug. 24. [ JASON FRANSON | AP ]
Published Sep. 5, 2020
Updated Sep. 5, 2020

EDMONTON, Alberta — The NHL is allowing some family members of the four teams left in the playoffs to join the Edmonton bubble but is waiting on the Canadian government on the possibility of adding more.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press on Saturday that Canadian family members of players, coaches and staff members on the Lightning and the other teams in the conference finals who are already in the country are free to enter the bubble immediately as long as they adhere to quarantine regulations spelled out before the start of the playoffs.

Daly said the league hadn’t heard back from the government on additional exemptions for family members who are outside the country. Canadian citizens re-entering the country are subject to the federally mandated 14-day quarantine, he said.

Family members must quarantine upon arrival in the Edmonton bubble, where the conference finals and Stanley Cup final will be played, until they test negative for the coronavirus over four consecutive days. After that, they must agree to daily health monitoring, including testing, temperature checks, symptom screening and contact tracing.

The NHL has reported zero positive coronavirus test results since 24 teams entered the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles for the postseason July 26, plus the week before that while training camps were held in home cities. A total of 2,814 tests were administered last week alone.

Players, coaches and staff members have been quarantined away from family for six weeks. The NHL had planned on welcoming family members to the bubble when it was down to the final four teams for the conference finals, which start Sunday. The league, players association, Canadian government and Alberta provincial officials have been discussing the subject for several weeks.

The Golden Knights and Stars open the Western Conference final Sunday night. The Lightning face either the Islanders or the Flyers in Game 1 of the East final Monday night. The Islanders and Flyers play Game 7 of their semifinal Saturday night.

Fans still won’t be allowed at games.

— By STEPHEN WHYNO