Hockey fans, rejoice! The NHL restart in Toronto is about to begin, and significant measures are being taken to prepare for the long-awaited event. Tall barriers are going up outside of the Fairmont Royal York, one of two downtown hotels reserved for teams and staff.
Torontonians took to social media on Friday to share photos of the set-up of the NHL branded barricades. People are also weighing in with their comments.
"I'm more worried about fans trying to sneak in," someone wrote.
"I feel like they should have kept the hotel assignments under wraps. I was kinda surprised they would blatantly advertise themselves like this," said another person on Reddit.
According to The Athletic, arriving players will immediately be subjected to a temperature check at the Fairmont Royal York.
The hotel, which has been mostly vacant for months, is also stepping up its safety protocols with hand sanitizer, masks, and thermometers at the check-in "wellness area," reports the outlet.
Toronto's Hotel X is also preparing for the arrival of the league's top five Eastern Conference teams.
According to The Score, these include the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
The teams staying at the Fairmont include the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and our very own Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston shared a photo of the NHL "secure zone" set up outside of Toronto's BMO Field, just down the street from Hotel X.
The NHL's "secure zone" fencing is going up outside @BMOField https://t.co/WOLyB82etH— Chris Johnston (@Chris Johnston)1595603180.0
The Leafs won't be exempt from any of the NHL's strict lockdown rules, even in their home city. They will enter isolation at the Fairmont with several other teams this weekend.
Hopefully, they aren't put too close to the Boston Bruins.
"We're going to be restricted with where we can go and with what our boundaries are," John Tavares told the Athletic.
"But I think the league, and I know the PA are working together extremely hard and have taken a lot of feedback from us to try and do the best they can to make it as normal as possible and give us things to do outside from the rink," he added.
The Leafs also opened up this week about what they will be bringing to stave off boredom in isolation, like video games and jamming out on the guitar.
The Leafs are scheduled to face off against the Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Arena on August 2 at 8:00 p.m.