According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, the NHL has informed teams that phase three of the league’s return-to-play plan, training camps, will not start before Monday, July 13.
The league and NHLPA are still working out on finalizing the details for phases three and four, the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in addition to a CBA extension. As of Thursday afternoon, the proposal is still being worked on and has not been shown to players, who were supposed to have a conference call on Thursday.
Pending an agreement and subsequent vote by the NHL board of governors and players, Edmonton and Toronto will likely be the two hub cities for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the United States is seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases, especially in the south.
Brooks noted that the push back gives teams (Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes, Vegas Golden Knights) located in areas where cases are skyrocketing a few extra days to prepare for the start of camp.
The NHL was aiming for training camps to start a week from Friday. Players have said that they needed at least three weeks of skating on their own before camps begin. Phase two, small group training, was allowed to open on June 8. The Washington Capitals opened MedStar Capitals Iceplex for small group training on June 11.
Training camp is supposed to last for three weeks with the last one being in the hub city.
The tournament was reportedly slated to begin on Thursday, July 30, but that could get pushed back a bit as a result of this.
By Harrison Brown