The full announcement:
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that formal training camps (Phase 3) for the 24 teams resuming play will open on Friday, July 10, provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play. The length of training camp and, therefore, the start date for formal resumption of play (Phase 4) will be determined at a future date.
This seems to indicate that everyone believes that agreement on the actual Phase 3 protocol is achievable, and that they will be able to deliver on the COVID-19 testing program that Phase 3 will use.
The NHL has been facing some criticism lately for not having any firm timetable for their return to play while the NBA has set precise dates. Today’s announcement could be partly designed to shut that down, considering there is no actually meat to this beyond the date itself.
Not all 24 teams who will be expected to be ready for training camp on July 10 have started Phase 2 yet, in some cases because of lack of players locally who want access to team facilities.
This will be Sheldon Keefe’s first training camp in the NHL, and it’s already unique, but he’s known to innovate in on-ice sessions, so who knows what it will be like. We expect there to be some exhibition games prior to the formal return to play, but it’s unknown how or when exactly they will fit into the plan.
Modest updates from Insider Trading today. The push for a start date for training camp came from the NHLPA, who want the players outside of North America to have time to make travel plans.
There is no certainty one way or another around rules for incoming travellers into Canada. There is no certainty if the hub cities chosen will include Canadian cities or not, but Las Vegas is still considered a front runner.
This date could change because the negotiation of all the rules is just beginning. Play would likely begin around August 1.
On CBA negotiations: the term of a new deal is likely to be four or five years beyond the current two-year extension. Any new rules would take effect next year, however. The talk about this being done this summer continues.