The NHL kicked off Phase 2 of its return to play plan on Monday morning with some NHL facilities reopening for small voluntary workouts, and according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the league is hoping for training camps to start at some point in mid-July.
There's been some confusion out there about the potential start of NHL training camps for the 24 teams in Phase 3: both the NHL and NHLPA, subject to negotiation, are hoping for mid-July still for start of camps…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 8, 2020
According to Lebrun, the NHL and player association are shooting (read: hoping) for a mid-July timeline when it comes the launch of training camps for the 24 teams that will be participating in the playoff tournament. While the date for when Phase 3 will begin is still being negotiated, the league is clearly hopeful that they’ll be able to get something going as early as next month despite not yet announcing which cities would be hosting players or clarifying what this means for those travelling in from abroad. If a hub city is in Canada, will the players have to comply with the 14-day quarantine? Would it even be wise to wave that requirement just because they’re pro athletes? On Twitter, it’s being reported that talks are ongoing between the NHL, the three available Canadian teams, and the federal government on what’s to come. Time will tell, I suppose.
At this stage, I have to admit that I was actually a little bit excited to see some of the Oilers back on the ice for their small group workout despite being. What I didn’t know was that those groups have to stay together through the entire process. According to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, players won’t be allowed to mix groups once they’ve started skating in their groups of five or six and it will be interesting to see if guys will want to group themselves with linemates or if it won’t even matter. Either way, I was just happy to see the ice back in at Rogers Place and a handful of guys with Oilers logos on their chests skating around. Whether or not that means we’re legitimately getting closer to the mid-July training camps that the NHL is hoping for remains to be seen, but I think we can all agree that yesterday’s news is a step in the right direction.