According to a report by Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the National Hockey League is set to resume action on July 30.
From NHL GM’s meeting, Post has learned that training camp is set for two weeks, with teams traveling to respective hub city on July 23 or 24 before playing one exhibition game. The Stanley Cup tournament that begins with qualifying rounds is scheduled to begin on July 30.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) June 20, 2020
NHL To Return July 30
For some time the NHL has kept things closely guarded when it comes to an actual return to play date. That is because things can change very quickly. However, after announcing their intentions with a full return to play plan, the NHL appears to have gotten a date. The NHL plans to start the Stanley Cup tournament on July 30. This date lines up with what the league has been saying a late July or early August start. Not to mention this date lines up with the vacated NBC Olympic TV window.
In addition to the tournament beginning, training camps will be three weeks long beginning on July 10. Teams will practice two weeks in their home rinks before coming to the hub cities on or before July 23rd or 24th. Once in the hub cities, the teams will have a week of camp to adjust to the settings and play one exhibition game before the puck drops on the resumption of the season.
Also, those teams taking part in the play-in round and the round-robin seeding tournament will be allowed to bring 30 skaters plus an unlimited number of goaltenders to training camp. Once the tournament begins, the number will be cut down to 28 skaters but the teams can still carry an unlimited amount of goalies. Those players that are on IR will not count against the limit.
There is still a long way to go before Phase 3 and 4 are announced. The NHL is only in Phase 2 of its plan to return to play. And even with players testing positive for COVID-19, and facilities shutting down for the moment, the league is still going forward with everything. As they move forward the NHL will have to watch these numbers. One thing they can’t control is the environment. Phase 2 is voluntary. Once they have these players in the closed bubble environment, the NHL can control everything. Not to mention better to have this now, then when they are ready to begin play.
Also, another positive sign is that coaches and general managers will be allowed to begin watching these small on-ice sessions.
Another positive sign is the NHL is moving closer to naming the hub cities. With Vegas being reported as one of them, look for the NHL to try to get a Canadian city involved.
Embed from Getty Images