National Hockey League ratify agreement for players to return to Olympics

Tanya Simon
July 13, 2020

The CBA extension also includes and agreement for players to take part in the Olympics in 2022 and 2026, pending an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

The National Hockey Leauge (NHL) chose to suspend the season on 12 March amid the vast increase in the number of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States.

The NHL board of governors and NHL Players' Association have ratified the return-to-play plan and a four-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement, paving the way for the league to resume its pandemic-hit season later this summer in Canada.

Training camps are set to open Monday, which also represents the deadline for players to determine whether to opt out without penalty.

Edmonton will then host Eastern Conference Final, Western Conference Final and Stanley Cup Final which is the start of Phase 4.

The current season will play out in Toronto and Edmonton, with the two hub cities announced Friday after weeks of speculation, though Bettman told reporters some details needed to be finalized with the Canadian government.

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"I just think it's great for the game of hockey to be able to showcase the best players", the three-time Stanley Cup champion said this week.

In an effort to protect the players, the NHL will not disclose injuries in Phase 4, deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed in a Saturday afternoon video call with the league and player representatives.

According to various sources, the National Hockey League plans on playing six games a day during the qualification round and round robin.

But even with that geographic pivot, daily testing of all related personnel, and a strict set of health and safety protocols, league and union executives acknowledged the marked uncertainty inherent with restarting play now.

After the conclusion of the amended 2019-20 season, a full season with the normal 82 games for each is expected for the 2020-21 campaign.

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