NHL Shed Light On How The Season Will Work
It should be a relief to many that labour peace finally appears within reach within the ranks of the National Hockey League. The NHL and NHLPA (National Hockey League Players’ Association) earlier on this week announced having tentatively reached a number of agreements over the when and how of what a return to play and training might look like over the course of the coming months. The agreements now require official ratification by means of a voting process conducted among the NHL’s board of directors and the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board.
If the agreements as proposed in current format were to be voted into force, then training camps will officially get underway on July 13. The 24 teams scheduled to resume the current season will then head off toward the two selected hub cities on July 26, with actual game action pucking off on August 1st.
Hub Cities Possibly Leaked
Even though the NHL has not yet confirmed the names of the two hub cities named by the league, an inside source has indicated Toronto and Edmonton as the chosen destinations. Even so, said the anonymous insider, the league has declared even the hub locations subject to change based on how the situation regarding infections develops over the next couple of weeks.
The conference finals and Stanley Cup final host city has allegedly not yet been named, with this too, dependent on how the situation unfolds in coming months. The expectation is that the league will endeavour to keep a steady pace as far as future announcements are concerned, but that it will at the same time remain cautious about setting any decision in stone because of the precarious and constantly changing nature of the global health crisis. Decisions made in coming months will surely be conducted in a manner of trial-and-error.
Labour Peace At Last
The league and players’ association have furthermore hashed out an all-new collective bargaining agreement. And even though no specific details were mentioned regarding the CBA during Monday’s statement to the media, the expectation is that the latest draft will finally bring long-awaited harmony to the historically volatile relationship.
Saving what’s left of the current season will require extra effort and sacrifices to be made by players and staff. Players won’t be at liberty to have any physical contact with members of the general public and will be segregated in what the league and NHLPA describes as controlled bubbles. All games will be played without fans physically in attendance in the stands.