Last week the NHL announced the start of Phase 2, which includes on and off-ice training in groups of five or fewer. Today they have announced the start date for Phase 3.
Beginning July 10th the NHL will allow formal training camps for the Arizona Coyotes and the other teams that are set to play in the postseason. This is a major step in the NHL returning and the playoffs starting.
With the start of Phase 4 being unknown, it is unknown how long training camps will last. It will likely be a lengthy discussion between the NHL and the NHLPA with the safety of the players with regards to both Covid-19 and the potential for on-ice injuries.
It also remains to be seen where hockey will be played once the season returns. The NHL announced a plan for two yet-to-be-named hub cities to host the post-season once play resumes. Phoenix was not named one of the finalists for the NHL’s return to play plan.
With just under a month until the anticipated start of the training, things are moving fast. We are in unexplored territory right now, but the NHL seems comfortable with announcing this plan. It remains to be seen when the return to play will be announced.