The NHL and the NHL Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on the protocols for the resumption of play, the sides announced Monday evening.
TSN.ca also reported the league has determined the specifics involved for the 24 teams participating in a playoff tournament within two bubble cities. The Flyers and the rest of the Eastern Conference would play in Toronto. The Western Conference would anchor in Edmonton.
The ratification of a four-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement is tied to the deal, which would call for training camps to open July 13. The league is calling this Phase 3 of its return to play plan.
Teams travel to hub cities on July 26 for the resumption of competition, Phase 4. Games begin Aug. 1. Each team would be permitted a traveling party of 52 into the secure zones of the bubble cities, including a maximum of 31 players.
The NHL shut down March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining 189 regular-season games were canceled in May when the league announced a unique postseason format.
The Flyers, one of the top four teams in the East, will participate in a round-robin with Boston, Tampa Bay, and Washington to determine seeds.
Players and staff will undergo frequent testing and heavy quarantine measures while in the bubble cities. Players’ families will not be permitted into the secure areas until conference finals, which tentatively would take place in mid-September.
Like everything else the last four months, the schedule should be considered fluid.
The tentative agreement must be ratified by a majority of players and two-thirds of the league’s board of governors, according to the Associated Press. Players may opt out of returning to play within three days of the full voting to avoid penalty.
Should an outbreak occur, both the NHL and the NHLPA will have the ability to postpone or cancel games.