NHL teams tentatively set to open training camps July 10


New York (AFP)

National Hockey League training camps for the 24 teams remaining in the Stanley Cup chase will begin July 10, provided a deal is struck with players on resuming the season.

The NHL and its players' union announced the timetable Thursday, conditional upon medical and safety conditions allowing and an agreement on returning from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown that began March 12.

Exactly how long the workout sessions will last and when games will resume will be determined later, a statement from the league and the NHL Players Association said.

The NHL's return two play plan, allowing teams to conduct limited workouts with small groups at their club facilities, began on Monday.

The NHL said last week players would be allowed to conduct individual training activities at team facilities on a voluntary basis, with sessions limited to no more than six players at a time plus a limited number of team staff members.

Play was halted with just over three weeks remaining in the regular season. The NHL plan to resume announced on May 26 included 24 of its 30 clubs.

The bottom 16 teams in the standings when the shutdown came will meet in eight best-of-5 qualifying series while a round robin among the top four clubs in each conference determines seeds for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Matches will be staged at two hub cities that have yet to be identified, one for the 12 Eastern Conference teams and another for the 12 Western conference clubs.