NHL targets August 1 restart as 9 new players test positive for Covid-19

NHL logo
NHL logo

The NHL is targeting a 1 August return to play after agreeing with the players' union on health and competition protocols, as well as a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.

A statement on the NHL website pointed to three key dates, starting with the formal opening of training camps on 13 July - four months after play was halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

Teams would travel to hub cities on 26 July, and a qualifying round would begin on 1 August, as the league aims to finalise a field for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Training camps will open in the teams' local markets, but competition will resume in hub cities with 12 Eastern Conference teams reportedly headed to Toronto and 12 from the West to Edmonton, where the Stanley Cup final would be staged in October.

According to reports about the terms, each team will be allowed 52 people in the "secure zone" quarantine bubble with up to 31 players.

Everyone would undergo daily Covid-19 testing - with 24 teams and 52 people per club, that means 1 248 people daily tests when everyone arrives and until teams are knocked out.

The top four clubs in each conference will play seeding games while the teams ranked fifth to 12th will meet in a five-game series to determine the four qualifiers that face the seeds in the opening round of the playoffs.

None of the plans are official until the collective bargaining agreement extension is approved by the NHL's board of governors and by the union in a full membership vote.

Even as the plans were being finalised, the NHL announced Monday that nine new players tested positive for Covid-19 this past week, bringing the total to date to 35 players.

The NHL said that 396 players had reported to training facilities for optional team workouts and more than 2 900 tests were taken, with more than 1 400 in the past week.

Those tests resulted in 23 positive tests for Covid-19, the NHL said, a figure that included 15 such positives announced a week ago.

The NHL also said it knows of 12 players who have tested positive outside of team workouts since June 8, up one from a week ago.

Players testing positive have been self-isolating. No players or clubs were identified by the league.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Western Province 20
Bulls 22
loading... Live
France 29
Italy 5
loading... Live
Wales 13
England 24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 10058 votes
Cricket
11% - 2701 votes
Football
19% - 4548 votes
Athletics
2% - 595 votes
Boxing
1% - 227 votes
Cycling
2% - 553 votes
Golf
5% - 1185 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1997 votes
Tennis
3% - 811 votes
Water sports
1% - 213 votes
American sports
1% - 298 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 773 votes
Vote