James van Riemsdyk says he is confident NHL has proper precautions in place as he gets back to training

However, 43 NHL players have tested positive for COVID-19, and players do have the option of sitting out the next few months. 

Van Riemsdyk's wife gave birth to a girl earlier this year, so the forward would have a strong reason to stay home. 

But van Riemsdyk is confident the proper precautions are in place.

"I think they know what everything means to me as far as hockey," he said. "Being on the Return To Play committee and seeing some of the ins and outs of some of these decisions, I think they saw the thought that was going into this.”

The NHL and the rest of the sports world continues to do its best to push forward with an understanding that the return to play could be sidelined if the virus continues to spread. 

Players will also have to get used to empty arenas, but van Riemsdyk is still holding out hope his family would be able to be with him if the Flyers make a deep playoff run.

"We’ll still have to talk about that a little bit more," van Riemsdyk said. "It’s one of those things where you just see where the world is at that point. Certainly as I’ve mentioned before, playing hockey and chasing the Stanley Cup is a huge dream of mine. I really would want to be able to share that with my family so that would be pretty important to me if we get to that point to be able to have them there."

For now, the arenas in Toronto and Edmonton will be empty for games.

The Flyers and the rest of the NHL players are used to packed arenas with rabid fans turning up the intensity for the postseason, but defenseman Justin Braun understands the atmosphere will be quite different now. 

"It’s going to be weird," said Braun. "I can’t remember the last time I played without, maybe just parents in the stands or not many people there. You just got to deal with it.  The intensity is going to be there. Everyone knows what’s on the line."

For now, the focus remains on hockey. The Flyers are getting back into game shape in Voorhees with their first game set for Aug. 2, and Braun is confident the Flyers will be ready.

"The hardest part is getting back in shape and getting game speed," Braun said. “For the most part, it’s been a pretty easy transition for everything that we did. The Flyers getting us all the information that we need to get ready for this."