ST PAUL, Minn. — It's the next step in their quest for the Cup, during a season interrupted.
The Minnesota Wild kicks off Phase 2 of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Return to Play Plan Wednesday, as players begin small-group skating and training at TRIA Rink.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin made the announcement, adding that all players and staff that enter the TRIA facility will be tested for COVID-19 before they can take part. For the health and safety of all involved, the sessions will be closed to both the public and the media.
Wild players and staff will follow the health and safety guidelines set forth by the Phase 2 protocol of the NHL's Return to Play Plan, as well as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health.
Players can skate in groups up to 12, and must honor social distancing requirements both on-and-off the ice. Player groups will have specific arrival and departure times, as well as designated non-contact points of entry/exit to the building.
TRIA Rink has adopted a rigorous cleaning and sanitation program going forward to guard against transmission of COVID-19.
The NHL's Return to Play Plan scraps the remainder of the regular season and features a 24-team postseason, which would include the Wild if things come to fruition. The playoff series' will unfold in two selected hub cities. Early reports said St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center were up for consideration, but The Athletic's Michael Russo reported Monday that the Twin Cities have been scratched off the list of possibilities.