While the Columbus Crew were sent down to Orlando to compete in a tournament to restart the season, the NHL is close to following in similar fashion, according to a report from ESPN.
According to ESPN, the NHL and NHLPA have finalized protocols that would allow for the season to start Aug. 1, with training camps resuming July 13. Play will occur in two hub locations, including Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, as told to ESPN.
That means Columbus could see its beloved Blue Jackets back in action in a few short weeks.
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There’s more at stake in teams returning to NHL play than there are for the MLS teams competing down in Florida. If an agreement is reached, the NHL will skate right into a 24-team playoff.
That’s not before starting training camp, which has a target date of July 13. If all goes well, the Blue Jackets will travel to Toronto on July 25 or 26 to compete in exhibition games.
The playoffs would begin the following week with a qualifying round in which the Blue Jackets would face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a best-of-five series.
Players have the opportunity to opt-out of playing without being penalized.