NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has said that he expects 98% of NHL players to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 regular season.
While speaking with reporters during the NHL's player media tour in Chicago, Daly revealed that he expects between 10-15 players will be unvaccinated when the league begins play on October 12th, thereby subjecting them to harsher protocols than their fully vaccinated counterparts.
As per the NHL's COVID-19 protocols, unvaccinated players who miss playing time as a result of virus-related reasons such as testing positive or being unable to cross the border will forfeit pay for every day they are unable to perform. These protocols greatly restrict the freedom of unvaccinated players during road trips, as well, barring them from areas such as hotel bars, restaurants, pools, gyms, teammates' rooms, or any building that is not the team's practice facility, the arena they are set to play in, and their own hotel room.
Throughout the rigors of an 82-game NHL season, such a confined existence is sure to grate on players who are subject to these intense protocols. Perhaps so much so as to ultimately convince them to get vaccinated after all, like they should have done in the first place.