NHL tentatively sets start of training camps for July 10

SAINT PAUL, MN - FEBRUARY 4: A member of the training staff works on the skate of Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild prior to the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center on February 4, 2020 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

If all goes well, NHL training camps will be in full swing in just less than a month.

The league announced Thursday morning that Phase 3 of the return-to-play protocol — which is the start of official team activities — will begin on July 10 “provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play.”

The NHL announced last month that it did not envision training camps beginning in the first half of July, so this represents something of an accelerated process as the league continues to prepare to resume the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While very positive steps have been taken in regards to terms, comprehensive plans to resume play will have to be finalized for training camps to officially open, as mentioned in the announcement from the league.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that if training camps do indeed open on July 10, the restart date on the season will be earmarked for early August. Johnston also notes that Canadian teams could hold camps in the United States if border restrictions aren’t eased or exceptions aren’t made over the next month.

The NHL only just ushered in Phase 2 this week, allowing team facilities to reopen for voluntary and highly restricted workouts.

There is still no word on which cities will be selected to host games in Phase 4.

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