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Matthews, Andersen may stay in Arizona during Phase 2

May 29, 2020, 4:06 PM ET [99 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs like 23 other NHL clubs are preparing to transition to Phase 2 of the league reopening, which could happen as soon as next week, but while many Leafs players are making their way back to Toronto, others may be staying where they are for the time being.

"(Since) the issuance of phased Return To Play protocol by the NHL and by the NHLPA, (there have been) just a lot of questions from players. We have had quite a few players, if not most of them, begin to book their travel back to Toronto, keeping in mind that some of them will have to serve the 14-day quarantine under the quarantine act.” GM Kyle Dubas said. "We haven't encouraged it, because it is a voluntary phase for players, but it seems that most of our guys would like to be here and at least be into their small groups with us, which will begin at some point here in the next week or two weeks."

Leafs blueliner Cody Ceci was spotted skating in a local arena in the Ottawa area with former Sens teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau and injured Hawks defenseman Calvin de Haan on Friday, while Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen have been ramping up physical activity in Arizona in recent weeks.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun indicated on Thursday that both might be holding off on a return to Toronto given that they currently would have to isolate themselves for two weeks coming from the United States.

Vancouver GM Jim Benning mentioned the possibility of his club training in the U.S. if the Canadian government maintains that restriction. The mandatory quarantine also makes it likely that Toronto, Edmonton, or Vancouver will not be selected for one of the two hub cities.

Matthews and Andersen may stay in the US until a set date is determined for Phase 3 (the opening of training camps), which the league announced will not begin any sooner than July 10.


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