NHL and NHLPA Inch Closer to an Agreement Which Could Be Finalized Early Next Week, Per Report

By Jacob Nitzberg on July 3, 2020 at 8:05 am
May 27, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks at a press conference before game one of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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We're getting closer, folks.

The NHL and the NHLPA are close to a tentative agreement regarding Phase 3, Phase 4, and an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN. If there aren't any speed bumps, "it might be early next week before the players and the Board of Governors have signed off on (an agreement)," per McKenzie.

With Toronto and Edmonton all set to be the hub cities for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there is "a strong belief that Edmonton would get the Stanley Cup Final," according to McKenzie.

Here's what the current tentative schedule looks like: 

Tentative Schedule for NHL's Return to Play

If this schedule remains intact and things move smoothly, we could see teams playing games in just 29 days. Phase 2 of the draft lottery, which has become an incredible consolation prize for teams that fall in the qualifying round, is set to take place on August 10th.

For a quick reminder, the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round will each have a 12.5% chance to select first in the 2020 NHL Draft. 

Right now, the NHL draft would likely take place in mid-October, and the free agency period would begin on November 1st. 

This, of course, is all subject to change, but it's nice to see the framework continue to be built.

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