NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday the league is planning a 24-team Return to Play format and revealed interesting details on the matchups, draft lottery and contending hub cities to host games when play resumes.
While he did not reveal any clear date or timeline on when the puck would be dropped, there have been significant hints to what the summer hockey calendar will look like.
Here are the important dates and times to keep an eye out for:
June 26 : Phase of the 2020 Draft lottery.
Beginning of July: Opening of training camps for all 24 participating teams.
End of July: Start of the qualifying round in which teams will move on by winning a best of three series. The top four teams in each conference will play for first-round seeding using regular season overtime rules.
Beginning of August: Phase 2 of the 2020 Draft lottery.
August: First round of the postseason.
End of September/beginning of October: 2020 NHL Draft
October: Opening of free agency.
December or January: Start of the 2020-21 regular season, full calendar expected.
There is no guarantee the NHL makes it back to complete this season, but there is a plan. And these dates and expected times are surely encouraging for everyone out there.
It is however important to mention that all of this is conditional on Public Health authorizing the NHL to resume activities and resume play this summer.
Keep your fingers crossed and your calendars marked!