The NHL announces to players that the return to play phase 3 will not take place before July 10 at least, compared to

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The NHL told players Thursday that the third phase of the league’s plan to return live games will not take place until at least July 10. This step in the process is when training camps are supposed to start for teams, according to Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman.

The announcement is a slight departure from what was originally said by the league when Gary Bettman’s four-phase plan for players and teams to return to the game was first revealed. By the time things were first disclosed, it was expected that Phase 3 would take place before the first half of July.

As it stands, the league is still in phase 1 of the plan, where players and coaches are quarantined by the league for a few weeks. Once this is successfully completed, it will open up Phase 2, which is a policy that allows for small group workouts. The goal is for this phase to happen next week.

Although the teams have already technically crossed training camps for this season, the goal of Phase 3 is to get players in better shape when they get back on the ice – because a game of professionals out of form would not exactly make the most convincing battle for the Stanley Cup and could lead to an increase in injuries.

Phase 4, of course, will take place when play officially resumes. That’s when the league will dive head first into its 24-team playoff system.



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