While various sports leagues in North America deal with positive coronavirus cases and one notable team abruptly pulled out of contention due to quite literally running out of players, the National Hockey League continues to set plans for its conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
The league announced Monday its officially schedule to resume the season with a 24-team postseason tournament, to be held in Toronto and Vancouver next month. According to the schedule, training camps would open for eligible teams in mid-July, then they would travel to their respective host cities on July 26 for a tournament which will have its opening rounds played starting on August 1.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 6, 2020
The move comes on the same day the NHL and its Players Association announced a preliminary agreement to its collective bargaining agreement, which would keep labor relations between the two sides amiable for another four years.
NHL-NHLPA announce they have tentative agreement on four-year CBA extension.
Now must be ratified by NHL Board of Governors, NHLPA Executive Board and NHLPA in full.
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) July 6, 2020
That’s all welcome news, especially for a league that perhaps is mostly known in the larger American sports landscape for lockouts more than anything over the last two decades. But as cases rise in the United States and some players are openly questioning how their leagues have handled an attempt to play sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL escaping to Canada for a tournament starting in August is looking like the most likely to succeed plan of any put forth thus far.