NHL, players approve plan to resume season, extend CBA
UNDATED (AP) - Hockey became the latest sport to finalize a return during a global pandemic after NHL owners and players approved an agreement Friday to resume the season - and with it an assurance of labor peace through September 2026.
Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, with coronavirus cases in the U.S. pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October.
Training camps open across North America on Monday, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty.
The return-to-play plan, tentatively approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Monday, was ratified by the league’s board of governors and with majority approval from players following a three-day voting period, ending Friday. Along with it, the two sides also formally approved a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.
The NHL is back with an expanded 24-team playoff format, but things will be much different from the norm: There will be no fans. There will be between five and six games a day at the start - up to three at each site, which will be heavily cordoned off from the public.