(Reuters) – Formal training camps for the 24 National Hockey League (NHL) teams that could return to action later this summer can open on July 10 if it is deemed safe to do so, the NHL and its players’ union said on Thursday.
The length of training camps and, therefore, the start date for a formal resumption of play will be determined at a later date, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association said in a joint statement.
The two sides said training camps would open “provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play”.
Reopening of training camps is the penultimate phase of the NHL’s four-step plan to resume competition.
The announcement came two weeks after the NHL, which halted action in March due to the coronavirus, unveiled a return-to-play plan that effectively ended the regular season and would go straight to an expanded playoff format held in two hub cities.
The second phase of the plan began this week as NHL teams were cleared to reopen training facilities so long as those who chose to attend did so in small groups that did not exceed six players at a time.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond