NHL training camps will open July 10 if the league and players’ union can reach an agreement to resume the season, the league announced Thursday.
Setting this date gives the 17% of players who are overseas time to return in light of U.S. and Canada quarantine regulations. The league and NHLPA said the July 10 start of camps — referred to as Phase 3 — is pending medical and safety conditions and agreeing on getting back to games.
Camps are expected to run two to three weeks with games taking place in two “hub” cities without fans. If the league and players finalize a deal to return, games could resume in early August. The NHL said in a statement Thursday that the date for a start of Phase 4, the resumption of games, will be announced at a later time.
Thursday also marked the first day Coyotes players were back on the ice at Gila River Arena for voluntary, small-group training sessions. Players were given the choice whether to participate.
If hurdles are cleared for resuming the 2019-20 NHL season, such as securing hub cities and maintaining a reasonable level of safety, the Coyotes will participate in a play-in round, playing a series against the Nashville Predators. The winner of that series will advance to a 16-team Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 2019-20 regular season is deemed to be completed, and only 24 teams will participate the rest of the way.
The NHL season paused on March 12 as the coronavirus pandemic brought the sports world to a halt. During Phase 1, players were told to quarantine at home. In Phase 2, which is underway, players can work out in small-group training sessions.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.