The NHL continued to pursue a return later this summer by announcing Thursday that training camps will open July 10 if medical and safety conditions allow, and if the league and NHL Players’ Association have reached an overall agreement on resuming play.
The length of camps and a start date for the season will be determined in the future. Other logistical details also need to be addressed, including which two cities the league selects as the hubs for games.
But the NHL has made progress toward finishing up the season that was halted March 12 by the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, teams were allowed to open their facilities to players for voluntary, small workouts. Not everyone has participated; the ice at the Wild’s practice facility, Tria Rink, isn’t scheduled to go in until next week, and that’s when players are expected to show up. But a handful of teams, like Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Edmonton, have had players begin to skate.
The Wild would have training camp at the Tria Rink.
Protocols for training at team facilities were outlined late last month, the first step greenlighted by the NHL since it asked players to self-quarantine amid the shutdown.
And then, on May 26, the NHL officially ended the regular season and revealed its complete return to play plan that would have 24 teams vie for the Stanley Cup.
Organized by points percentage, the top 12 teams in each conference will compete. The top four will play in a round robin to determine first-round seeding, and the remaining eight will square off in a best-of-five qualifying round to join them in the playoffs.
The No. 10-seeded Wild is included in the qualifying round and would meet the No. 7 Vancouver Canucks.