Yesterday afternoon TSN hockey insider Frank Seravalli ripped the lid off of the NHL's proposed Return to Play plan, reporting on dates and scheduling of not only the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but things like the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, free agency and even the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.
In case you missed it, check out this excellent bit of reporting courtesy of Seravalli:
July 24: Travel to hubsJuly 25: Exhibition gamesJuly 30: Qualif. round beginsAug. 9: First round of playoffs beginsAug. 23: Second round beginsSept. 6: Conf Finals beginSept. 20: SCF beginsOct. 2: Last poss. game of SCF
Okay, finally some clarity! Things are finally happening! Or, at the very least, we have some dates to circle on the calendar. Of course these dates are subject to change, but at least now we can get some sense of when things will ramp up and then wrap up with regards to the NHL's Return to Play plan.
Interestingly enough, Seravalli also reported on prosed dates for the Draft and free agency, as well.
Check it out:
Also, tentative date for 2020 NHL Draft is Oct. 6. It must follow the end of the Stanley Cup Final and precede the free agent signing period.
Well, alright... not only do we have plans for the playoffs now, but the offseason plan is coming together nicely, as well. Not bad, Gary Bettman. Not bad at all. But how about next season? The players probably won't hit the ice again until the New Year, right? What are the chances that we see NHL hockey this Fall?
Again from Seravalli:
Tentative dates listed in NHL and NHLPA Memorandum of Understanding:
Later of Oct. 9 or 7 days after Cup Final ends is opening of #FreeAgentFrenzy
Nov. 17: Opening of training camps for 2020-21
Dec. 1: Opening of 2020-21 regular season
That seems like an AWFULLY short break for the two teams who will play in the Stanley Cup Final. But, let's be real the 2020-21 season was always going to be compromised as a result of this season's gimmicky schedule. It is what it is and frankly I'm just happy that we'll see a Stanley Cup champion awarded in 2020.