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Stars' Polak, Canucks' Baertschi opt out of return

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Published in Hockey
Saturday, 11 July 2020 12:54

Dallas Stars defenseman Roman Polak and Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi on Saturday joined the list of players who won't be reporting to training camp for the resumption of the NHL season.

Baertschi, who has spent much of this season in the minors and is under contract through 2020-21, told the Canucks he'd be opting out of participating in the expanded 24-team playoffs.

"Sven informed us late yesterday that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL return-to-play program," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. "It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand.''

Polak is not on the Stars' roster for the start of training camp Monday, and a team spokesman said the 34-year-old veteran won't be attending at this time. Polak is a pending free agent who last month agreed to a deal in his native Czech Republic for next season and told reporters there he wasn't planning on returning to the NHL if play resumed.

Players have until Monday to inform their teams whether they are opting out. As part of the NHL and NHLPA's agreements, players will not be punished if they choose not to play this summer, and they do not need to cite a specific reason.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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