The NHL opened Phase 2 of their ‘Return To Play’ plan on Monday. Now, word has come down regarding the start of Phase 3. That’s a big deal, because Phase 3 is the opening of training camps for the 24 teams slated to play in the NHL’s expanded postseason.
The league announced on Thursday that training camps will open on July 10th. The Edmonton Oilers confirmed that they will open on the 10th in a release on their website.
Oilers training camp ahead of the resumption of the 2019-20 season will begin Friday, July 10, as the NHL and NHLPA have announced the start date for Phase 3 of the Return To Play Plan.
Training camps for the 24 teams resuming play will open on July 10, provided that medical and safety conditions allow and the parties have reached an overall agreement on resuming play.
The length of training camp and, therefore, the start date for formal resumption of play (Phase 4) will be determined at a future date. The Oilers are slated to face the Chicago Blackhawks in a best-of-five Qualifying Round series.
Phase 4, the official resumption of games, still does not have an official timeline. The NHL will also need to decide which two cities will serve as hub cities. Sources indicate that Las Vegas, Nevada, is leading the way to be the host city for the Western Conference. Columbus, Ohio has been a long-rumored site for the Eastern Conference.
Edmonton is one of at least three Canadian cities (Vancouver, Toronto) bidding to be a hub city. Canada’s government, however, has a 14-day quarantine period for anyone travelling to the country that has not been waived for NHL players. That’s a hurdle to getting the league to Canada this summer.
The Oilers saw five players return to Rogers Place on Monday. Defensemen Matt Benning and Kris Russell were joined by forwards Alex Chiasson and Tyler Benson, and goaltender Stuart Skinner. Forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jujhar Khaira have been skating on the Canadian West Coast.