On the day in which the Capitals officially begin Phase 2 of the NHL's return to play plan, we now have a date for Phase 3. The NHL and NHLPA announced Thursday that training camps will begin on Friday, July 10 for the 24 teams that will compete in the 2020 postseason. Per a statement released by the league, training camps will only open if "medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play."
A date for Phase 4, the resumption of the season, was not announced. It was also not announced just how long camp may be and that obviously will need to be determined before a timetable for the postseason can be finalized. It is believed camps will last from two to three weeks meaning we are most likely looking at the start of August for when play can begin.
The NHL paused its season on March 12. With training camps resuming on July 10, that means there will be over fourth months between games. But there is obvious momentum for play to resume.
Since the league paused on March 12, it considered itself to be in Phase 1, self-isolation, until Monday when Phase 2 was officially allowed to begin. The Caps were set to officially begin this next phase on Thursday. Now we have a date for Phase 3 and, most likely, a timetable for Phase 4 should not be far behind. Just what the Caps will look like when they finally do return to play, however, remains to be seen.
It should also be noted that the NHLPA has not officially agreed to return to play just yet. Yes, we have a playoff format, we have players returning to team facilities and we have a date for training camps, but the specific health and safety protocols for the postseason have not yet been finalized and a vote will still have to taken to determine whether the players want to return to play.
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NHL, NHLPA set the opening of training camp for July 10 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington