The NHL’s protocols for Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (the play-in series and Stanley Cup playoffs) are pending ratification by the players and board of governors, but they spell out one key hurdle for Kaapo Kakko to clear to be able to play with the Rangers this summer.
Before any player can participate in formal training camps, which are scheduled to begin Monday as long as the union and league vote in favor of the return to play protocols and collective bargaining agreement extension, he must undergo a pre-participation medical examination (PPME). Part of the exam will evaluate whether a player has any underlying conditions that could present increased risk with a COVID-19 infection.
That is of note for the 19-year-old Kakko, who is a type-1 diabetic with celiac disease. The CDC classifies type-1 diabetes as a condition with which people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“Players who, after consultation with the Club doctor who conducted the PPME, and the Club’s infectious disease expert, are determined to be at substantial risk of developing a serious illness as a result of exposure to the novel coronavirus shall be deemed to be unfit to play and shall not be permitted to participate either in Phase 3 or Phase 4,” the NHL’s protocol reads.