Max Domi and the Montreal Canadiens have agreed to wait 7-10 days before deciding if he'll participate in training camp as part of Phase 3 of the NHL Return to Play Plan. Domi is a Type 1 diabetic and more prone to having serious complications if he were to contract the coronavirus.
"As we all know this has been an ongoing conversation, I would say for the last two weeks, and in conjunction with Max -- and it's for the safety of Max," general manager Marc Bergevin said. "So, we're all aware of his health situation. Max wants to be here but we want to be proactive and safe for him for short term and long term. So, it's an ongoing discussion with him and experts and we'll give ourselves a time frame of 7 to 10 days to evaluate the situation and then we'll make the proper decision for Max."
Domi scored 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) in 71 games when the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the cornonavirus. The forward, who is on the Canadiens' training camp roster, can be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.
"Being a Type 1 diabetic is something that raises some concern, but you really don't know how everyone is going to be affected by this disease, so just because I'm a Type 1 doesn't change much," Domi said May 14. "I would handle myself the same way if I didn't have it, so I'm just trying to stay safe and stay healthy as much as I can."
The Canadiens, who begin training camp Monday, were 31-31-9 (.500 points percentage) and are the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, which begin Phase 4 of the Return to Play Plan on Aug 1. They will play the No. 5 seed, the Pittsburgh Penguins (40-23-6, .623), in one of eight best-of-5 series, with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, which will be held Aug. 10. The 2020 NHL Draft is scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10.
Any player may choose not to participate in Phases 3 and 4 without discipline or penalty.
"First and foremost, I think that's private," said forward Paul Byron, who is the NHLPA co-player representative with the Canadiens. "I know [Domi is] looking into the health risks, what the team and the League are going to do to be safe and whether or not he can feel comfortable coming here. No matter what his decision is, we're going to support him as a teammate. It's a tremendously unique situation for everyone involved. It's something that [Domi], the doctors and his agent are going to have to look at closely.
"I'm not privy to know his personal life, his health stuff. I know he would love to come here, he'd love to come play with our team. He reiterated that to me a few times, how much he wants to be with the guys. It's a hard decision for him. Hopefully, in time, he's going to make the right one. No matter what it is, we're going to support it."