BOCA RATON, Fla. — The NHL is not allowing its employees to make work-related trips outside of North America in response to the global fears over the coronavirus, and if any of those employees go on their own to a country where the virus has been found they will be quarantined before being able to return to work.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday the league has told its 31 teams they were free to adopt a similar policy, though he stopped short of saying it would be a mandate as concerns of the virus continue to grow.

“We barred all travel outside of North America for business purposes,” Bettman said on the final day of general managers’ meetings. “People at a personal level or people in their households are still free to do what they want to do. If you go to a place that’s on the list of countries that have an issue or while you’re there the country comes on the list, then when you come back we want you quarantined, out of the office for two weeks until we can see if symptoms develop.”

That even applies to those who work for the NHL’s central scouting service: Scouts who are in Europe are staying in Europe, and if they return to North America they will be quarantined. Bettman said the NHL is in regular communication with the other three major North American sports leagues, as well as health experts in the U.S. and Canada.

• The NHL shared its salary cap projection for the 2020-21 season with general managers.

“We told the managers we expect the cap for next year would be somewhere between $84 and $88.2 million,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. “That depends on the results of our negotiations with the players’ association with respect to what inflator, if any, we apply to the numbers in the formula.”

Daly said the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association have re-engaged in talks over the last couple of weeks.

ISLANDERS: Defenseman Johnny Boychuk needed 90 stitches to his eyelid after being hit in the face with a skate but suffered no damage to his eye, President and GM Lou Lamoriello said.

Boychuk was cut Tuesday night when he was hit by Artturi Lehkonen’s skate as the Montreal Canadiens’ left wing fell forward.

“Johnny Boychuk is OK. There’s been no damage to his eye,” Lamoriello told reporters. “He felt the skate blade get his eye, but fortunately, it just got the eyelid. It took 90 stitches to fix; a plastic surgeon took care of it. I don’t want to exaggerate with the stitches because they do very small stitches, but there were 90 of them.”

There is no timetable on his return.

SENATORS: The Ottawa Senators fired CEO Jim Little less than two months after he took the job, saying his conduct was “inconsistent” with the core values of the team and the NHL.

Little, 55, said in a statement to media outlets that the reasons for his dismissal were simply the result of a heated disagreement with owner Eugene Melnyk.

“On Valentine’s Day, the owner and I had a personal disagreement over the approach that I had been pursuing,” Little said. “I am a strong-willed person, and the disagreement included me using some strong language with him over the phone, including some swearing, which he did not appreciate and for which I later apologized.

“It was these events, to my knowledge, which led to my dismissal. Any other inference from the statement is wrong.”

The club says a new CEO will be announced in the next few weeks.


FLYERS 5, CAPITALS 2: Travis Konecny scored just over a minute after a questionable video review wiped out a goal, and visiting Philadelphia beat Washington to extend its winning streak to seven games.

Just 71 seconds after referee Peter MacDougall said there was “no conclusive evidence” to show the puck crossed the goal line underneath goaltender Braden Holtby, Konecny hammered the puck into the back of the net for his 24th of the season. He celebrated as if he scored twice.

The Flyers actually scored three times in 10 minutes to flip momentum in a showdown of the top teams in the Metropolitan Division. Additional goals by Kevin Hayes and Tyler Pitlick during that run, one each by Ivan Provorov and Scott Laughton in the third and 25 saves from Brian Elliott helped Philadelphia move within one point of first-place Washington.

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