Report: NHL, NHLPA agree on return=to-play protocols, continue CBA conversations

Sports

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Washington. Also seen is Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9). (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

TORONTO, ONT. (WTAJ) – The NHL took another step towards playing again this season.

According to a report from the AP, the NHL and NHLPA agreed on protocols for a return-to-play format. The two sides are also working towards an extension on the current CBA. Both the CBA and return to play will need to be voted on league wide, which is expected to happen this week.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the return-to-play protocols include an opt-out clause for any player that does not want to resume play this season without penalty.

The agreement to begin play again includes a limit of 30 skaters and unlimited goalies in phase 3, which is training camp.

In terms of COVID-19 testing protocols, players and club personnel will be tested 48 hours prior to any individual returning to training facilities and every other day following, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Those tested should get their results back within 24 hours. If the results are not available in 24 hours, the player or staff member won’t be able to remain in club training facilities until they get a negative test result.

Players and staff will also be daily temperature and symptom checks for individuals at home and upon entry to the training facility.

Training camps are scheduled to open on Monday July 13, with teams slated to arrive in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton by Sunday July 26, with games scheduled for Aug. 1. Assuming there is no delay to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Stanley Cup will be awarded the first week in October.

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