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Some Maple Leafs prepping for Monday return

Mitch Marner celebrates a goal at practice with John Tavares back in September. The star duo could be back on the ice with some teammates as soon as Monday, though it will take longer for some who aren't in Toronto.
Mitch Marner celebrates a goal at practice with John Tavares back in September. The star duo could be back on the ice with some teammates as soon as Monday, though it will take longer for some who aren't in Toronto.

The Maple Leafs are putting the band back together — very slowly.

To be ready for Monday’s opening of the NHL’s Phase 2 of Return To Play, some Leafs who were in town and not quarantined were undergoing COVID-19 testing on Friday. Assuming none of them are positive, they will be at Ford Performance Centre Monday to undergo physicals.

But it’s important to point out their attendance on Monday is on a voluntary basis as the NHL players association has not signed off on all details of the Return To Play Plan, which is to culminate with a 24-team playoff tournament sometime this summer.

Nor is the opening of facilities across the league considered an official training camp. Groups of no more than five or six with a small number of instructors are the only ones allowed on the ice at one time or for off-ice conditioning. The two hub cities for the tournament have not yet been announced.

Various Leafs who rode out the pandemic in the U,S. have made their way back to Toronto the past couple of weeks, coming through the mandatory 14-day quarantine. It remains to be decided how much media access will be granted once the players return, with the Leafs and other clubs expected to address that in the next few days.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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