Lightning Family Members Denied Exemption to Travel to Canada for Stanley Cup Final

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If the Tampa Bay Lightning secure their second straight Stanley Cup title in Game 4 on Monday night, the team’s celebration won’t include family members.

Per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the Canadian government didn’t grant exemptions for Lightning family members to attend the game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Last month, the Canadian government approved the NHL’s request for a travel exemption that allowed teams to travel between Canada and the U.S. for the final two rounds of the postseason without having to quarantine.

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The league agreed that teams entering the country would undergo daily coronavirus testing and live in a modified bubble in which they had no contact with the public.

Per the Canadian government’s website, anyone traveling into the country, “regardless of citizenship,” is required to quarantine for 14 days even if they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Kaplan noted that Lightning players, coaches and staff “have only been able to travel between their hotel and the arena” since arriving in Montreal prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Canadiens interim head coach Dominique Ducharme returned to the bench for Friday’s 6-3 loss. He had missed the team’s previous six games after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Lightning will look to close out the Stanley Cup Final in Game 4 at the Bell Centre. They would become the first team to repeat as champions since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2015-16 and 2016-17.     

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