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The Bruins and Lightning squared off at the Garden Saturday night with no change in protocol around media access to their respective dressing rooms, despite widespread reports that the NHL decided to restrict access severely in light of burgeoning coronavirus concerns.

Elliotte Friedman, the highly-regarded reporter/commentator for Hockey Night in Canada, tweeted early Saturday afternoon that the league decided to prohibit media members from entering the rooms, be it for pre- or postgame interviews.

“Starting today,” he wrote, “@NHL will close dressing rooms to media, on recommendation of Centers for Disease Control (@CDCgov) in effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. NBA, MLB + MLS are expected to follow. Media availabilities will be conducted in formal press conference area.”


A Bruins spokesperson late in the afternoon said the club had been in contact with league headquarters, but the league had not instituted any change in media protocols.

It was also business as usual for the media at the club’s late-morning workout at their Brighton practice facility.

“We’re considering every conceivable option that may be because what’s happening is evolving not only on a day-to-day basis in terms of us staying on top of developments, but it’s almost hour to hour,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “We are considering — no formal announcement.

“Some clubs may be focusing on this on their own, but as you all know the locker room is a very intimate environment and players are not always fully clothed and it may be best to have media accessibility at a podium for everybody’s health and safety, not just the players’ but [the media’s].”

Coach Bruce Cassidy addressed the print, digital and electronic reporters in a conference room after the workout, as is his custom, and then the some two dozen media members filed into the dressing room for interviews, both in groups and one-on-one settings, with a handful of players.


The topic of possibly restricting access never came up during the late-morning media scrums, held approximately an hour before the Twitter erupted with alleged changes in policy.

Meanwhile, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) continued to trim events, deciding Saturday to scrap the women’s world championships slated for March 31-April 10 in Nova Scotia (rinks in Halifax and Truro).

The men’s world championship, to be played in Switzerland May 8-24, remains on the books, although it remains at risk to be scrubbed if countries continue to struggle to get the virus under control

The Swiss government on Feb. 29 instituted a nation-wide ban on crowds of 1,000 or more, which quickly led the country’s two pro hockey leagues on Monday to postpone the start of its playoff rounds for at least two weeks, to March 15.

Officials of the Swiss League and the National League are expected to convene mid-week to determine whether to go forward with the playoffs or push the starting date(s) beyond the March 15. Another option, though unlikely, would be to not hold the playoffs.

Peter Laviolette, the Massachusetts-born defenseman who coached the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup title, recently was named coach of the USA men’s team slated to compete in the world championship in May. Laviolette was fired by the Nashville Predators as their bench boss Feb. 26.

Rene Fasel, long-time president of the IIHF, last week was adamant that IIHF world tournaments would not be held as “ghost games’’ — the term for staging games in arenas with the stands empty.


Fasel and other IIHF officials could decide by next Sunday if they intend to keep May 8 as the planned start of the tournament.

If IIHF officials push the date to later in May, it would enable more NHL players to participate, in theory, because more playoff teams are eliminated from Stanley Cup as the month progresses.

Amid the backdrop of European countries trying to figure out life in the time of coronavirus, the Bruins still have plans to fly to Mannheim, Germany, in late September to finish their training camp, and then fly to Prague, Czechia, to open their regular –season opener in a matchup against the Predators.

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.