NHL and Players’ Association tentatively agree on 2020 return to play plan, CBA extension

Mar 13, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Rogers Place sits empty as the NHL suspends games because of the COVID-19 outbreak at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL and its players’ union have reached a tentative agreement on a return to play plan and a memorandum of understanding for a four-year collective bargaining agreement extension. The deal, which includes a new critical dates calendar, is subject to ratification from the NHL’s board of governors and the NHLPA’s executive board. The deal will also include a full NHLPA membership vote with a majority needed for approval. The vote is expected to take place over the next 3-5 days.

Among the most notable dates moving forward, the NHL will tentatively begin Phase 3, formal training camps, on July 13. Teams will transition to their hub cities no later than July 26 with the play-in round and round-robin games (Phase 4) beginning on Aug. 1.

The Avalanche will partake in the round-robin games with St. Louis, Dallas, and Vegas in Edmonton, which will host the Western Conference teams through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The current CBA, set to expire on Sep. 15, 2022, would be extended by four years, through the 2025-26 season. Among the notable changes in the extension is an agreement to allow NHL players to participate in the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics pending an agreement with the International Olympic Committee. The extension also allows the league and the players to navigate the financial struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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