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NHL, NHLPA finalize Return to Play protocols for the postseason

All we need now is a new CBA

2015 NHL All-Star Weekend - Commissioners Press Conference Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL and NHLPA have finalized the protocols for Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (actual game play) of the Return to Play agreement which will (hopefully) see the completion of the 2019-20 season with a 24-team Stanley Cup tournament ending in early October.

These protocols will need to be approved by the NHLPA’s executive committee, which is composed of one representative from each of the league’s thirty-one teams. Once that approval is granted, the entire package, both the Phase 3 and 4 protocol and the extension of the CBA, which is still being hammered out, will go to a vote the full membership vote of the NHL. The NHL’s board of governors will also need to approve the package of agreements.

July 13 remains the target date for the opening of training camps with postseason play starting by August 1 in the two hub cities of Edmonton (Western Conference) and Toronto (Eastern Conference).