UPDATED 7:31 PM: The NHL said today that it has reached a tentative deal with its players union for the league to resume its interrupted season. As part of a deal to add four years to its collective bargaining agreement, the league has set August for the start of its playoff-qualifying round.
The deal, which still must be approved by the boards of the NHL and the NHL Players Association, sets July 13 for the start of training camps and July 26 for teams to travel to the two “hub cities” of Toronto and Edmonton. AB. Read details of the NHL return to play here.
PREVIOUSLY, July 5: Hockey fans will be happy to know that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are working to resume the season with new protocols.
According to the Associated Press, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said on Sunday that there has been agreement on protocols for training camps and games. However, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are still in negotiations for an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, which has a significant impact on the process. The return will only go into effect if each side votes to approve the full package of the CBA extension and return-to-play agreement. For this to happen two-thirds of the league’s board of governors and majorities of the players’ executive committee and full membership must vote in favor of the agreement.
The NHL shutdown began in mid-March close to the start of the pandemic hitting the United States. If an agreement is reached, games will resume in late July or in early August with 24 teams participating in expanded playoffs, with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.
On June 11, the NHL and its players union agreed for clubs to begin formal training camps “provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play.”
If all pans out, teams will kick off training camps July 13 before traveling to two cities for games, which will be considered “hub” cities. Since the beginning of June, players have been able to train voluntarily in small workout groups.