The NHL just started Phase 2 of its return to play policy on Monday. this allows teams to practice with six players at a time. On Thursday, the NHL and the NHLPA agreed to start Phase 3 on Friday, July 10. This is when training camp can begin.
It has yet to be decided how long training camp is going to last for. What is also undecided is when Phase 4 will begin. Phase 4 is when the games can actually begin, but the NHL has yet to decide on two hub city locations.
It appears as if the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin around the end of July or the beginning of August. The NBA is also projected to start around that time. The NBA has moved up its date from July 31st to July 30th to potentially start.
Since the Stanley Cup Playoffs usually start on a Wednesday, I think they are going to start them either July 29th or August 5th. It will be interesting to see when it does begin, however, and which cities the NHL selects.
The shortlist includes ten cities. They are Chicago, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Los Angeles Las Vegas, Dallas, Columbus, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
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We will see what happens moving forward. If I had to guess what cities they are going to be in, they are going to be in Edmonton and Columbus. We will see what the NHL and the NHLPA want.
Phase 3 is a step in the right direction for teams wanting to return. This means that we are one step closer to sports returning. It appears as if there is a light at the end of the tunnel at the end of the day.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs is the heartbeat and the heart and soul of the season and it could be a very unpredictable postseason this year.
With having 24 teams in the postseason, anything goes. There are a lot of bounces that can go either way like it usually does every year during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I am sure that hockey fans are putting in their bets at the moment.
A lot of people are excited that training camp will be in less than a month from now. It may feel like an eternity, but it is not as far away as you think. This will be interesting to see also if fans will be allowed in the arenas or not.
Some teams may feel at a disadvantage at the moment but some teams feel like they are at an advantage due to rest. There will also be testing throughout the day as well for all teams. I don’t see the NHL shutting down if someone tests positive for it.
Meanwhile, as we wait for the Stanley Cup Playoffs to begin, continue to pass time with whatever you are doing. This phase is a happy phase for a lot of people involved unless you are one of the seven teams that are not participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.
What do you think of Phase 3 starting to begin on July 10th? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on twitter @glennkaplan13.