The Pittsburgh Penguins and the rest of the NHL will be stuck at home for at least two more weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the expected action, the NHL has asked players to remain in self-quarantine until April 30.
The United States and Canada remain in nationwide lockdown to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
“The NHL, following consultation with our medical experts, as well as representatives of the NHLPA, has made the decision to extend the self-quarantine recommendation for NHL players, coaches and hockey staff through and including Thursday, April 30.”
The NHL self-quarantine had been in effect through April 15.
The NHL paused their season on March 11 after initially agreeing to play some games without fans. However, NHL cities including New York became hotbeds of the pandemic and are still in the grips of the coronavirus peak.
As of Tuesday morning, the United States has over 588,000 cases, including over 195,000 cases in New York. The United States has maintained a 1700 cases per million, which ranks seventh among the G20 countries. The US has suffered 1779 deaths per million citizens, which ranks 10th among major industrialized countries.
Canada has limited the number of cases to just over 26,000. Canada has only 693 cases per million residents and 22 deaths per million residents.
Several return-to-play scenarios have been publicly floated, including neutral sites. There are several NHL cities that have put public restrictions in place which extend well past April 30. For example, Toronto has banned public gatherings until June 30, which means the NHL could not return to Toronto until July 1 at the earliest.
Salary cap issues could also arise from the pandemic pause. The NHL salary cap is tied to league revenues and if the league does not resume play, the cap could drop next season. Pierre McGuire discussed potential nightmare scenarios on 93-7 the Fan on Monday.