The New York Rangers officially opened team facilities on Tuesday as a part of Phase 2 of the NHL’s restart plan, which allows on and off-ice workouts for small groups of players.
A Rangers spokesman confirmed with amNewYork Metro that six players — Brendan Smith, Brendan Lemieux, Chris Kreider, Marc Staal, Adam Fox, and Phillip Di Giuseppe — arrived at team facilities on Tuesday to begin training.
Attendance was expected to be sparse, especially during the initial reopening.
Per previous reports, Kreider, Staal, Smith, Fox, and Lemieux were in the area during Phase 1 of the NHL’s restart plan, which featured self-isolation to ensure players would not contract COVID-19.
Any player that has to travel via commercial air to their team’s home facilities will be forced to quarantine for an additional 14 days, meaning players will either have to get creative to get to their team’s home city or wait out the voluntary Phase 2 process.
Should Phase 2 go off without a hitch, Phase 3 will bring a legitimate training camp, but that will not happen until at least July 10.
The NHL is hoping that competitive play can restart by late July. An expanded postseason format has 24 teams (12 per conference) competing in a postseason tournament.
While the top four seeds in each conference will partake in a round-robin tournament to decipher the final seedings, teams ranked 5-12 in each conference will play in a best-of-five play-in tournament.
The Rangers are the No. 11 seed in the East and will take on the No. 6 Carolina Hurricanes.
On Long Island, the Islanders opened their training facilities in East Meadow on Monday with Josh Bailey, Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck, and Thomas Greiss attending.
“It was nice to just get back in there,” Bailey said (h/t NHL.com). “It’s a familiar place for us. It’s nice to get back on the ice too; it’s obviously been a while. That’s where we’re comfortable out there, so it was nice to feel the puck. We didn’t go too crazy on Day One, but nonetheless, it was fun to get out there.”