The NHL and the NHL Players' Association have reached a tentative agreement on a return-to-play plan to restart the 2019-20 season and a memorandum of understanding that adds another four years to the term of the current collective bargaining agreement.
The next step in the process is the voting. The NHL board of governors must approve the agreements. Once the NHLPA's executive committee (one player rep from each of the 31 teams) gives the package its approval, the agreement moves forward to a full-membership vote.
Phase 3 is the opening of training camps, which is scheduled for July 13 in individual cities, as well as traveling to hub cities on July 26 for additional training and exhibition games. According to the plan, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN on Sunday, Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto and Western Conference teams in Edmonton. The conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will be held in Edmonton.
Phase 4 is the restart of the season in those hub cities with a 24-team postseason tournament. The qualification round of five-game series for Nos. 5-12 seeds in each conference is scheduled to begin Aug. 1.
The return-to-play plan includes testing protocol and explains how positive tests will be addressed; outlines social distancing requirements inside training facilities and the hub cities; specifies who can participate in the hub cities; defines life inside the bubbles; states when families can rejoin players; and spells out what happens if positive tests are too numerous to continue play.If players decide not to participate in the restart, they can opt out with no questions asked within a three-day window after the full-member vote ratifies the new CBA.
I really hope they can pull this off cause it will be great to have hockey back and it can be a "how to" for the NFL and NCAA to figure out how to get back as well.