NHL looks to take next step toward resuming play

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Alex DeBrincat #12, Jonathan Toews #19 and Erik Gustafsson #56 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Gustafssons' second period goal against the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on October18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

TORONTO (AP) – The NHL is hoping to move to Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol early next month. That includes opening practice facilities and allowing small group workouts.

Six players will be allowed in team facilities at one time for the voluntary workouts. No on-ice coaching or instruction is permitted.

A 22-page memo detailing the plan stresses there’s no exact date for the start of Phase 2 or a timetable for how long it will last.

The NHL season was paused March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.