Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told the Associated Press on Sunday that the NHL and the NHL Players Association have agreed protocols to resume the season.
Dali said the two sides were still negotiating an extension of the collective bargaining agreement. Extending the CBA is critical to the process, and the League’s Board of Governors, Players Executive Committee, and full membership still have to agree to this and return to re-hockey protocols this summer.
If everything is certified, it will end the forced closure of the pandemic of 31 teams across North America that started in mid-March. The matches will resume in late July or early August with 24 teams participating in the expanded qualifiers, finishing the Stanley Cup in October.
The agreement was first reported by TSN.
Assuming the owners and players agree, the teams are expected to open training camps on July 13 before traveling to two “hub” games. Players have been able to ski and snowboard voluntary small group exercises since June 8 – nearly three months after hockey was closed on March 12 with 189 games in the remaining regular season.
A return to the playoffs is seen as an exciting victory for the NHL, which, like other major championships, faced the prospect of losing millions more without TV revenue tied to the job. There were deep concerns over the cancellation of the rest of the season and the word positive quiz has not helped: 26 players since June 8, plus nearly a dozen before that.
Once the game resumes, the positive result of the single-player coronavirus test is not expected to be completely stopped. The league said it would isolate any player or employee with positive results, noting that an outbreak would threaten the rest of the season.
The League will be responsible for testing players daily once they arrive in the game city.
“The players will be well protected from exposure,” said Montreal Cannes owner Jeff Moulson at a conference call in June. “It will be a completely different way for all of you as we watch hockey and we’re with a team because the players will be well protected throughout the process.”