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NHL sets Phase 3 date of July 10

The NHL keeps moving forward to a relaunch, with a Phase 3 date set for July 10. This, of course, assumes there are no issues that arise from Phase 2, which started last week. Phase 3 is the reopening of training camps for all teams in the 24 team playoffs. It is expected training camp will last three weeks, if the pandemic will allow it. Phase 4, the playoffs, would begin at that time, around August 1.

If that’s the case, then the qualifying round (best of five) would take about a week, with the true first round likely beginning on August 8. The true playoffs will all be a best of seven, with each round likely taking two weeks. That puts a Cup Final around the end of September/early October.



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  • Cup finals in October. Next season starting in January? What do they do, play a half season and then have playoffs? Otherwise, how do they avoid this season’s ignominious ending from jamming a couple of upcoming seasons? I am glad to see some hockey, but I am wondering whether this makes sense.

    • I don’t see any issues at all with 2021-2022. First of all, a long layoff between playoffs and next season is not really necessary. The players have had plenty of rest. Second, with restrictions on fan attendance, they may not even want a regular length 2021-2022 season. So I think a 60 game 20-21 schedule with playoffs occurring at the usual time is reasonable.

      Of course, this presumes no additional complications

      • Well that is an issue Ray because 2 seasons are being impacted instead of one.

        My preference might have been to can this season and start the next one on time, but I don’t pay the bills for the clubs and there are people who need to work, so that might not have been viable from their standpoint.

        Altogether, I realize that no solution will be ideal.

        • Have to agree with Ray — personally I would compress all “camps”, eliminate the All-Star game, the bye week and some downtime plus have the break between the SC and camps compressed to less than 2 months. Fatigue shouldn’t be a significant factor, by the time July 10th comes around they won’t have played a game in 4 months.

          • I understand, however, they still won’t get a full season in in 2020 – 2021 in order to get some questionable playoffs done now.

            I, of course, would love to see hockey, but it does bug me that next season is being messed up too.

          • Maybe the following season runs late, as well as the season after that (albeit less). That’s how it will be for a couple of seasons unless they bite the bullet and shorten the next season. In the end what is more important, a full season or a full playoffs culminating in a SC? I say the latter … so if we have to sacrifice 12 regular season games this year and another 12-22 games next year, IMO it’s worth it.

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