The National Hockey League is inching closer to a resumption of play. The league announced prior to the weekend that the second phase of their Return to Play scheme will begin on Monday.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 5, 2020
Well, sort of.
From the release:
Beginning June 8 – subject to each Club’s satisfaction of all of the requirements set out in the Phase 2 Protocol – Clubs will be permitted to reopen their training facilities in their home city to allow players to participate in individualized training activities (off-ice and on-ice). Players will be participating on a voluntary basis and will be scheduled to small groups (i.e., a maximum of six Players at any one time, plus a limited number of Club staff). The various measures set out in the Phase 2 Protocol are intended to provide players with a safe and controlled environment in which to resume their conditioning. Phase 2 is not a substitute for training camp.
Now, the commencement of Phase 2 depends on clubs satisfying the many requirements of the agreed-upon protocols. So they need to have a sufficient plan, plus ice still in their buildings, plus sufficient staffing to meet the various requirements.
In Calgary, expect it to be quiet. Multiple reports from various insiders noted that the Flames, as of Friday, hadn’t completely finalized their planning for Phase 2. Also, there aren’t exactly tons of Flames in town currently – only a handful per the club, including captain Mark Giordano – but there are other NHLers in town that would need to be accommodated within the Flames’ plans.
At present, there’s no timeline for shifting into Phase 3, the opening of full training camps. At this point, the NHL and NHLPA still need to hammer out those logistics. All that has been shared thus far is that camps won’t open before July 10, which means likely we won’t see games until the beginning of August (presuming a three week camp).