The NHL announced plans on Monday to resume play on August 1 with training camp slated to get underway next week.
Currently, the NHL is in “Phase 2” of its reopening plan, which allows players to practice on a voluntary basis at team facilities. On July 13, full-team practices will be held at team practice facilities or arenas.
On July 26, teams will travel to two hub cities in advance of a 24-team tournament slated to begin August 1. The CBC and Sportsnet both report that Toronto and Edmonton will serve as the two “hub cities” for resumption of play. The cities will likely be chosen as coronavirus cases are declining in Canada while increasing in the United States.
Sixteen of the NHL’s 24 teams will participate in a qualifying round for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. During the qualifying round, the top eight teams will play three games a piece for seeding purposes.
Also on Monday, the league announced that 23 players tested positive for the coronavirus. The 23 players who tested positive are in addition to 12 players who previously tested positive in early June when the league began “Phase 1” of its reopening plan. All told, the league has had 35 players test positive.
So far, the league has administered a total of 2,900 tests, with 396 having been tested so far.
The league suspended play in mid-March in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus. The league left off as most teams played roughly 70 games of an 82-game schedule.