The NHL on Wednesday confirmed it has not guaranteed loosened virus protocols forafter Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner ripped the league for what he said were unkept promises.
“Nobody from the league has communicated to any player or club that any of ourwould be ‘relaxed’ for any player once he is vaccinated,” a league spokesman said.
The NFL, NBA, andhave set vaccination thresholds to relax some protocols, such as mask-wearing and prohibition of outdoor dining when a certain percentage of team personnel are fully inoculated against COVID-19. Those in the U.S., where everyone 16 and older can get a vaccine. The NHL has seven teams in Canada, where eligibility has only recently moved to 40 and older in some jurisdictions – and availability is not nearly as robust.
ACCORDING TO THE GLOBAL CHANGE DATA LAB, the, Toronto’s Joe Thornton, over age 40 and playing in Canada, where 25% of people have received one dose and 2.5% are fully vaccinated. In the U.S., roughly 40% have had one amount, and 25% are .
Lehner said theand told them “(when) X amount of players leaders in this team or leaders around the league takes this vaccine, a new set of rules are going to come out.” He said he had calls with the league and NHL Players’ Association on Tuesday and found nothing was changing.
“They told me yesterday they’re surveying all the teams to see who has taken the vaccine and who has not taken the vaccines, and they’re not going tountil all the teams have a fair, have the vaccines at the same time, so it’s not a competitive edge,” Lehner said during 10 minutes of unprompted comments on the subject. “They’re talking about instead of human lives. Competitive edge, human lives. We’re humans, too.”
The league has not publicly announced anyprotocols, limiting players, coaches, and staff. Lehner’s comments concerned the of himself and fellow players, a topic he has talked about often in recent years.
Lehner called the NHL’s situation “totally unacceptable.”
“Look at the NBA, NFL, and the other leagues,” he said. “They’ve already implemented these things. And now we are vaccinated, and we’re still trapped in prison. Lehner apologized on Twitter for using “prison” but stood by hisconcerns given the restrictive protocols.