The NHL on Thursday nailed down another key date in its plan to resume and finish the 2019-20 season.
In a potential step closer to implementing its 24-team tournament, the league announced Phase 3 (formal training camps) will open July 10, "provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play," the NHL said in a statement. "The length of training camp and, therefore, the start date for formal resumption of play (Phase 4) will be determined at a future date."
The season was suspended March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Phase 2 (voluntary small-group individualized workouts at team practice facilities) is currently underway for the Flyers and many other clubs.
If training camps consist of two weeks and go safely as planned, the NHL and NHLPA could aim for an implementation of Phase 4 (resuming play) in late July but with early August more likely. A two-week camp would end July 24, giving the league one more week that month to prep for the beginning of the 24-team tournament. Or maybe the NHL could look to begin the qualifying round and round robin in late July to set up the first round in early August. There are still big decisions to be made for Phase 4.
"I believe that if we get a good two weeks, we’ll be fine," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said in late April. "Everybody will be in the same position, will be out for the same amount of time, so we’ll be like everybody else. My staff has a lot of experience. This is obviously something a little different, but we’ve got a lot of experience, I’m very confident that we can get something together that’s going to be very efficient for the players, very efficient to get our team ready and hopefully that’s what happens.”
The Flyers are in solid position within the 24-team field, currently as the Eastern Conference's fourth seed and with an opportunity to climb.
The Flyers went 29-17-7 against the NHL's 24-team field during the regular season. pic.twitter.com/Njf976liJ9— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) June 10, 2020
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