ICYMI: NHL hockey officially returns Saturday, August 1st

Drop the puck! Let's go, boys!

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The NHL and NHLPA have officially reached a tentative agreement on its Return to Play plan and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Check it out:

NEW YORK/TORONTO (July 6, 2020) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) have reached a tentative agreement on a Return to Play Plan and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that adds an additional four years to the term of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and includes transition rules and a new critical dates calendar. As part of the tentative agreement, the following dates have been established: July 13 – Start of formal training camps; July 26 – Clubs travel to hub cities; August 1 – Start of Qualifying Round. The tentative agreement is now subject to approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors, as well as the NHLPA’s Executive Board followed by the full NHLPA membership. The respective review and approval processes will take place over the next few days and there will be no further comment until those processes are completed.

For full details of the NHL's Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (Stanley Cup Playoffs) can be found here:

Some pertinent details and dates:

  • Players will return to their NHL cities for the opening of training camps on Monday, July 13th.
  • Participation in Phase 3 will be limited to no more than 30 skaters with an exception for an unlimited amount of goaltenders.
  • Players will travel to the NHL's two hub cities (Edmonton/Toronto) for July 27th.
  • The play-in round and Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on Saturday, August 1st.

It's expected that the Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude with a new champion sometime before October, 2020. No word yet on the opening of the 2020-21 season, but I think it's probably safe to say that the NHL will push things into 2021 and utilize a condensed schedule in an attempt to wrap things up in June 2021. Hopefully come the 2021-22 season there will be some sense of normalcy when it comes to the NHL's schedule.

In any case, the NHL looks to be officially back. At the very least it's nice to pencil in some important dates on the calendar.