The NHL and NHLPA have cleared another of the many hurdles on their way to returning to play in the 2019-20 NHL season.
The league and the players association have determined that July 10 will be the starting date for the 24 NHL training camps set to open for the hockey clubs returning to play this summer to finish off the 2019-20 NHL season.
Both the NHL and NHLPA put out the caveat that camps will open “provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play.”
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The NHL camps are known as “Phase 3” in the return to play plan for the NHL that is still evolving with collaborative, productive and ongoing talks between the league and the players.
The two sides still have yet to determine how long training camps will run for, or when Phase 4 (resumption of play) will happen with the qualifying play-in round and the round-robin tournament between each conference’s top seeds. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and many of the B’s players had indicated that something in the range of 2-3 weeks would be ample camp time to get up to playing speed after a month or so of informal, smaller voluntary workouts.
The NHL also has yet to determine the two hub cities for each of the two conferences, with sources indicating to NBCSportsBoston.com a couple of weeks ago that Columbus and Las Vegas were the two leading candidates at that time.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand kicked off Phase 2 for the Boston Bruins on Wednesday morning when they skated as a duo at Warrior Ice Arena with the NHL now allowing the 24 teams to have players work out, both on and off the ice, in small groups at NHL facilities.