By Joe Pantorno
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a return-to-play plan, key dates, and an extended Collective Bargaining Agreement on Monday night, clearing the way for hockey to return.
Phase 3 of the league’s return plan, which is full training camps, will begin on July 13 and will last roughly two weeks before teams partaking in the 24-team postseason travel to their central hub cities on July 26.
The Eastern Conference, which includes the New York Islanders and Rangers, will play their series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
The Islanders, a No. 7 seed in the East, will play the No. 10 Florida Panthers while the No. 11 New York Rangers face the No. 6 Carolina Hurricanes.
Western Conference teams will head to Rogers Place in Edmonton to play their postseason series.
On Aug. 1, Phase 4 — which is competitive play — will begin.
Within the agreement, four years have been added to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will extend to 2026.
“The tentative agreement is now subject to approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors, as well as the NHLPA’s Executive Board followed by the full NHLPA membership,” the joint statement read. “The respective review and approval processes will take place over the next few days and there will be no further comment until those processes are completed.”