Today marks probably the biggest announcement so far from the NHL and NHLPA. If you would like to see the release click here. Both announced today that Phase 3 of the NHL’s return to play plan will start on July 10th. For those who don't know, Phase 3 is the start of training camps for the remaining 24 teams. The statement continues on to say this is provided medical and safety conditions allow for an agreement to be reached to return to play.
This gives them an opportunity to move the date back if cases spike. The NHL and NHLPA have taken their time planning these steps. After almost three months the NHL isn’t going to put out dates unless it is confident it will be safe. Obviously things could change, so allowing for a push back gives some flexibility.
Some things not confirmed yet include the length of the training camps. So far going by reports it looks like either a two or three-week training camp. If Phase Three is delayed from it's July 10th start date that could affect the length, depending on the time crunch three weeks might not be practical. With the length of camp still to be determined the return to play date is still unknown. Going off the July 10th start of camp, a likely time-phrame for the return to play date falls between the last week in July to the first or maybe second week of August. Those dates are not in anyway concrete, just my estimation of when we could see games again.
Hockey fans we now have hope. With a draft lottery in just over two weeks, training camps a month away, and hopefully the playoffs a month after that it's an exciting time. These dates could still change, but after months of planning I'm willing to bet these are pretty firmly in place. With teams now getting back on the ice for limited work we are in the home stretch. With more dates still to be confirmed, and a hub city announcement coming in the near future, keep checking back with us for all the latest. Don't forget to check out all our other team pages to find out what is happening with Boston’s other teams. Till next time stay safe and go BRUINS!
Featured image courtesy of Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald.