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Islanders’ Leo Komarov Leads Finns’ Return to US

When the NHL shut down in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many European players went back to their home countries. Now, as a phased reopening continues for the league, many are returning to North America. One such effort has been led by the Islanders’ Leo Komarov who has rented a plane from Finnair to fly from Helsinki to New York.


The goal is to return and be ready for training camp, but there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the situation including safety precautions and the league’s timeline.

“No one knows anything for sure. No one really knows anything about anything, quarantines and others,” Komarov told Finnish news outlet Helsingin Sanomat.

The NHL is currently in phase two which includes voluntary workouts at team facilities among small groups. Phase three will begin on July 10 and includes a mandatory training camp.


Joining Leo Komarov on his trip will be other playoff participants like Dallas’ Roope Hintz and Esa Lindell. Once in North America, it’s unlikely that the group will have to quarantine but nothing is certain.

“There are tests on behalf of the team and everything is organized. It may take a few days to be sure, but I don’t know exactly how everything works,” Komarov said.


The 24-team Stanley Cup Playoffs don’t have a start date yet, but July 30 seems to be the target.

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