Updated: 8:15 p.m.
The Flyers will be making friends with some of their biggest foes in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament. Well, not really, but it looks like they'll at least be sharing a hotel with those teams.
According to a report by TSN's Bob McKenzie on Thursday night's "Insider Trading," during the NHL's 24-team tourney, the Flyers will be staying in Hotel X Toronto with the Bruins, Lightning, Capitals and Penguins. Per McKenzie, the two hotels for the Eastern Conference's 12 clubs will be split between the top five regular-season points percentages (the aforementioned teams) and the remaining seven, which will stay at the Fairmont Royal York.
The key dates ahead: Monday is when teams are scheduled to open formal training camp (Phase 3) at their respective practice facilities and July 26 is when clubs are expected to travel to their respective hub city for the eventual resumption of play (Phase 4). The NHL's hub cities are Toronto (Eastern Conference) and Edmonton, Alberta (Western Conference).
Here's what we know for the scheduling of games and the new critical dates on the NHL calendar.
Friday marked 121 days since the last NHL game was played before the 2019-20 season was put on pause because of the coronavirus outbreak. The league is getting closer to its return-to-play plan kicking into another gear.
The importance of this next step, from McKenzie:
My area of concern is the same as so many others in the hockey community and that is simply this: how do we get from now until July 26 and make sure that everything is still on the rails? There's a huge influx of players over the past week coming into Phase 2. There's going to be a big influx of players coming in for Monday's opening of Phase 3, the training camps. Lots of them are being tested, so now the question becomes, are we going to get a big spike in terms of the number of people testing positive? And if you do get a big spike in Phase 3, when players are not fully locked down during training camp, could that possibly derail a team's ability to get to Phase 4 — that's what everybody's concerned about. As for Phase 4, I think most hockey people think once they get to the bubble, they've got a fighting chance to get this thing finished, but it's between now and July 26 that's a concern.
Below is a look at the Eastern Conference's hotels and the protocol for those "secure zone boundaries," which you can read in full here on Phase 4.
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