NHL Training Camps Reportedly Won't Start Before July 10 Amid Coronavirus

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 11: A general view of an officials jersey during a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center on February 11, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

As the NHL prepares to resume the 2019-20 season, formal training camps won't begin until at least July 10, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman

The NHL unveiled its return-to-play plan Tuesday. The regular season is over, and the top 12 teams in each conference will move on to an expanded playoff format. The league had said that Phase 3 of its plan, which centers around training camp, won't happen before the first half of July.

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

The @NHL has released a Return to Play Plan for the 2019-20 season. ◾ 24 teams to compete for #StanleyCup ◾ 2 hub cities will host games ◾ Protocol for return to training ◾ Draft Lottery Full Details: https://t.co/JGXioEC4FA https://t.co/3KoUjPRsq4

The lack of a firm date for training camp illustrates how much remains up in the air.

Players will need preparation time before the NHL can stage games, especially since the games themselves will have such high stakes. The league hasn't selected the host locations, either.

Ten cities are still under consideration:

  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis/Saint Paul
  • Pittsburgh
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver, British Columbia

The next phase in the NHL's plan is allowing players to return to team facilities for limited workouts. Particularly across the United States, state and local governments have eased stay-at-home restrictions, enabling certain businesses to open back up.

Fans were understandably excited—as much as they can be under the circumstances—to have hockey beginning the process of returning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday's announcement didn't change the fact, however, that the process will need time to play out.