It is believed that the National Hockey League and the Players’ Association will get an agreement signed off in the next few days on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and a return to play plan, which means insider Bob McKenzie was comfortable enough on Thursday night’s Insider Trading edition to reveal a timeline of how things will be unfolding.
Check it out, it is very exciting to see a potential schedule for the 24-team playoff tournament and the upcoming 2020-21 campaign:
- July 13: Beginning of Phase 3. That’s when they’d want the players to report to camp.
- July 26 or thereabouts: The teams would leave their home cities and go to the two hubs, Toronto and Edmonton for the beginning of Phase 4 on August 1.
- Aug. 1: Keep in mind, the first part of Phase 4 is the preliminary or qualifier. Best-of-five series.
- Aug. 10: Remember, the losers of that series go into the (Phase 2) Draft Lottery. On or around August 10 or 11, thereabouts. We could get the Draft Lottery and determine the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.
- Early October: Then you have the Stanley Cup being presented. Again, it’s target date. That’s what they would like to have happen.
- Mid-October: The NHL Draft would have to happen quickly after the Stanley Cup is being presented.
- Nov. 1: And right now, Nov. 1 would be the first day of the business year for the 2020-21 season. And that would be free agent frenzy day.
That’s, of course, if everything stays to plan. We’ve seen some setbacks ever since the league halted back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the situation could be repeating itself as many scientists predict a much worse second wave of the virus.
It remains to be seen if all the efforts being made at the moment will alter that prediction and allow NHL hockey to officially return.