NHL tells players they can leave North America


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Gary Bettman. -- GETTY

The NHL's ever-changing guidance to players on dealing with coronavirus has taken a new twist.

The NHL has advised players that they now are permitted to return to their homes, regardless of the country in which it is located, and to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days once they reach their destination.

The directive also refers to a "training-camp period roughly 45 days" into the eight-week period during which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people be prohibited.

Initially, players had been instructed to remain in the city where their team is based, although exceptions were made at first for players whose families were located elsewhere.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said several days ago that the league is exploring "every possible scenario" for league events ranging from a resumption of the 2019-20 season to whether the draft should be held in Montreal, as scheduled, or conducted via a conference call.

The Penguins have had three games postponed because of the league-wide shutdown so far. They were scheduled to play in Columbus last Thursday, then to have home games against Carolina Saturday and the New York Islanders Sunday.

Team officials and players still have not commented publicly on the suspension of the season, but the Penguins did announce that they and Aramark have donated over 2,000 pounds of perishable food items from PPG Paints Arena to 412 Food Rescue for distribution to local organizations and individuals.

"We are all trying to do our best to help our community during this difficult time," Penguins CEO David Morehouse said in a statement released by the team. "We know that 412 Food Rescue will do a great job of distributing this food from PPG Paints Arena to those in need."

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