Players across the NHL are getting set to return to the ice and begin preparing for the 24-team postseason tournament. One of those players, of course, is Minnesota Wild forward Luke Kunin.
However, there may be some hoops to jump through in order to get Kunin cleared to play.
Kunin, 22, has type 1 diabetes, and according to a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, players like Kunin (such as Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi) may not be permitted to take part in the tournament due to the impact COVID-19 can have on those with underlying health conditions.
...shall be deemed to be unfit to play and shall not be permitted to participate in either Phase 3 or Phase 4. A player may initiate a second opinion concerning his fitness to play status pursuant to Paragraph 5 of the Standard Player Contract.”— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 6, 2020
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, people with heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, cancer and diabetes are at higher risk of developing severe complications due to COVID-19 than those without underlying health conditions. With Kunin being diabetic, it’s possible that he may be deemed “unfit” to participate in Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the NHL’s plan to return to play. But as McKenzie reports, if he is deemed unfit to play, he will have the freedom to get a second opinion regarding his status to participate.
Still, Kunin doesn’t seem to believe there will be any issues regarding his ability to take part in Phase 3 and Phase 4.
“I don’t think it’s going to stop me from suiting up,” Kunin told reporters last month via Zoom. “Talking to my endocrinologist and the team doctors, team staff, they’ve always done a great job of helping me out in any way necessary with having type 1 diabetes and making sure I’m feeling comfortable in the right way. So after talking with all them, I’m feeling really good, and there’s not many concerns at all for me.”