Quarantine requirements make for uneven NHL trade deadline

Nick Foligno is leaving his family back in Columbus to join Toronto and will have to isolate for seven days before getting on the ice for the Maple Leafs. He will miss at least five games.

Taylor Hall hopped in his car to drive from Buffalo to Boston and expected to be in the Bruins lineup less than 48 hours after they acquired him.

Quarantine requirements are making the trade deadline drastically different for teams around the NHL this year. Within the league’s own protocols, U.S. teams — especially those getting players from nearby rivals — have a sizable advantage over their Canadian counterparts, and it could make a difference down the road in trying to develop chemistry for the playoffs.

Defenseman Mike Reilly, who was traded from Ottawa to Boston late Sunday, it’s like any other trade deadline where he can play immediately.

“Try to get there as quick as possible here,” Reilly said. “Just pack everything up here, and I believe I get to avoid the quarantine, which is nice.”

Foligno — and Eric Staal when he went from the Sabres to the Montreal Canadiens — weren’t so fortunate. Staal was the first player to benefit from Canada reducing its quarantine time from two weeks to one, though he still missed three games.

Toronto traded a first and two fourth-round picks to land Foligno but won’t be able to insert him into the lineup until April 21 at Winnipeg, at the earliest.

“There’s a little bit of a lull here with the seven days that’s coming,” Foligno said. “But I’m really looking forward to just getting there and getting acquainted with everything and then hitting the ground running and helping any way I can.”

Don’t feel too bad for the North Division-leading Maple Leafs: They’ll gave goaltender David Rittich available Tuesday night after acquiring him from Calgary. The opponent? The Flames.

HELLO AGAIN

Rittich isn’t the only player facing his former team sooner than later. Hall and Curtis Lazar will face the Sabres six times over the final month of the season, including a three-game stint in Buffalo next week.

“That fits in just with how this season’s been going,” Lazar said. “It’s been strange in all aspects. But then again, you look at the big picture and put things in perspective that we should just appreciate the opportunity we’re still able to play.”

Ex-Devils forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac have some time before returning to New Jersey with the New York Islanders, with games May 6 and 8 and potentially first in the East Division in reach.

FREE PLAYERS

It cost the defending Western Conference-champion Dallas Stars nothing to add a veteran defenseman on trade deadline day. They claimed pending free agent Sami Vatanen off waivers from New Jersey, and Ottawa plucked defenseman Victor Mete off waivers from nearby Montreal.

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AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed.

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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