2020 NHL playoffs: NHL, NHLPA complete big step in return to play, announce schedule

Jordan Hall
NBC Sports Philadelphia

Updated: 7:50 p.m.

Signed, sealed and hockey soon to be delivered.

The NHL and NHLPA completed the ratification process of the league's return-to-play plan and four-year CBA extension, setting up for a resumption and conclusion of the 2019-20 season in the anticipated 24-team tournament.

The NHL's board of governors and the full NHLPA membership needed to sign off on the agreement in a vote Friday night. For full details on the agreed upon CBA memorandum of understanding, click here.

Meanwhile, here's what we know on the return-to-play 24-team tournament:

The hub cities are Toronto (Eastern Conference) and Edmonton, Alberta (Western Conference).

The NHL has set Aug. 1 as the start date of the qualifying round. The round robin, featuring the Flyers, Bruins, Lightning and Capitals in the East to determine the conference's top four seeds, will begin Aug. 2. The Flyers open against the Bruins, as you can see the schedule right here.

There will be five games a day from Aug. 1-2 and six games a day from Aug. 3-9.

Per the NHL's release:

The start times for the 10 days of Stanley Cup qualifiers in Toronto (Eastern Conference games) will be: Noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET. In order to maximize the viewing experience for fans across North America, the start times for the three game windows in Edmonton (Western Conference games) - 2 p.m. ET, 6:30 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET - may fluctuate by up to 30 minutes during the qualifying round.

Monday is when clubs are scheduled to open formal training camp at their respective practice facilities and July 26 is when clubs are expected to travel to their respective hub city. Exhibition games will be played July 28-30 prior to the qualifying round.

Training camps are a big step for the NHL in its goal of finishing the 2019-20 season and awarding the Stanley Cup. The season was suspended March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Flyers have a nice opportunity in the round-robin tournament as the East's No. 4 seed and with a chance to climb.

Below are the new critical dates for the NHL schedule (graphic courtesy of the league):

nhl_critical_dates.jpg

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

• 5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Finding the Flyers' best 1st-round matchup for Hart

Flyers have two top 50 pending UFAs; will they re-sign them?

Hockey insider details Flyers' hotel, importance of training camp 

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers near next steps toward return

2020 NHL playoffs: NHL, NHLPA complete big step in return to play, announce schedule originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

What to Read Next