Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Sunday that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have agreed on protocols to resume the season.
Daly said the sides are still negotiating an extension of the collective bargaining agreement.
A CBA extension is crucial to the process, and the league’s board of governors and players’ executive committee and full membership must still approve that and the return to play protocols to bring hockey back this summer.
If everything is ratified, it will end a pandemic-forced shutdown that began in mid-March. Games would resume in late July or early August with 24 teams taking part in an expanded playoffs, finishing with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.
Teams would be expected to open training camps July 13 before traveling to two “hub” cities for games.
Players have been able to skate and train off-ice in voluntary, small-group workouts since June 8, nearly three months after hockey was shut down March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.
Greg Wyshynski at ESPN summarized the league’s positive case scenario.
“Anyone who develops symptoms, or is living with someone who develops symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19 during Phase 3, must immediately notify their team, self-isolate and get tested by the team’s physicians. If they test positive, the person can return to the facilities if they’ve tested negative twice (on the basis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention test-based strategy) after their fever breaks and they have improved respiratory symptoms; or if they have no fever or respiratory symptoms for 72 hours if that person has self-isolated for a minimum of 10 days.
“Symptomatic players must refrain from exercise for at least 14 days after the first positive test, and have to get approval from a cardiologist and team physician before returning to game activity.”
Read the remainder at ESPN (along with a full timeline for play to resume)