NHL, NHLPA Finalize Protocols to Return to Play in Toronto, Edmonton

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

San Jose Sharks' Timo Meier (28) of The Czech Republic, talks with teammate Evander Kane (9) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Chicago. Chicago won 6-2. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Paul Beaty/Associated Press

The NHL and NHLPA have agreed on the third and fourth phases of a return-to-play plan, the league announced on Monday:

The start of formal training camps is set for July 13, with the start of the qualifying rounds set to begin on Aug. 1. The clubs will travel to the hub cities, Toronto and Edmonton, on July 26.

The two sides also reached an agreement on a four-year extension for the current collective bargaining agreement.

Per Emily Kaplan of ESPN, Phase 3 of the plan regards training camps, while Phase 4 is the 24-team tournament that will serve as the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. The NHLPA's executive committee must approve the plan before it gets voted on by the NHL players and NHL's Board of Governors. 

Bob McKenzie of TSN outlined additional details of the plan:

  • A limit of 30 skaters but unlimited goalies in Phase 3. 
  • Players can opt out of either phase with no penalties.
  • Players and club staff will be "tested 48 hours prior to any individual returning to club training facilities and on an every other day basis after that, with all results being available with 24 hours. If the test result is unavailable within the 24-hour period, the individual is not permitted to remain in club training facilities until such time that the test comes back negative."
  • Temperature and symptom checks will happen daily, both at home and before entering club facilities.
  • Any positive case will be treated as a hockey-related injury for CBA purposes.

The Stanley Cup Final is expected to take place in October in Edmonton. 

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