NHL, NHLPA Announce July 10 Start Date for Training Camps amid COVID-19

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2020

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 08: A hockey puck on the ice is shown during NHL action at Rogers Arena on February 8, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

The NHL and NHL Players' Association announced an agreement Thursday to formally open team training camps July 10.

The NHL was the first major American sports league to roll out its plan to restart play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Training camp represented the third phase of the four-phase plan.

The league will station 24 teams across two hub cities—one for the Eastern Conference and one for the Western Conference. Ten locations are under consideration:

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

It appears the NHL's resumption is proceeding according to plan. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported in May that July 10 was the earliest the league expected to start staging training camps.

Earlier this week, players were allowed to return to their team facilities for limited workouts.

"It was nice to just get back in there," New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey told reporters. "It's a familiar place for us and nice to get back on the ice, too. It's obviously been a while, and we're comfortable out there, so it was nice to feel the puck. We didn't go too crazy on day one, but nonetheless it was fun to get out there."

With a date for training camp now finalized, nailing down the start of the playoffs will be the next step.

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Under the NHL's amended playoff structure, the top four teams in each conference will compete in a round-robin tournament to determine seeding. The eight remaining teams will contest a best-of-five qualifying round, the results of which will lay out a 16-team traditional postseason bracket.

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