As the NHL prepares to restart its season at the beginning of August by jumping straight into the NHL 2020 playoffs, it has announced it will use two hub cities for all playoffs games. The two hub cities announced both are in Canada and include Toronto and Canada.

The league released a video outlining its plans for the safety and health of all involved in the upcoming games. They also address information relating to the broadcasting of the games, the amenities for players and that fans will not be in attendance.

All personnel with the NHL will be separated from the public as agreed to with the federal government. The league furthermore will use the services of Edmonton based DynaLIFE Medical Labs and Toronto based Life Labs to carry out daily tests of all those involved.

To accommodate the feeding of players, a concierge service will be offers for delivery of food. This is in addition to fourteen restaurants that will provide food related services in a controlled environment. Speaking on this, senior executive V.P. of entertainment and events and chief content officer for the NHL, Steve Mayer, said; “We’re creating, for instance, pop-up restaurants that will feature local chefs. The food will be diverse: everything from steak to vegan, from tacos to Tim Hortons, giving our players quite a variety. And our restaurants are open from the beginning in the morning all the way to late night.”

To help with outdoor recreation, the home of the Toronto Football Club, BMO Field will act as a facility for outdoor recreation, while the singing of National anthems on opening day will be carried out by Michael Buble. Commenting, Mayer stated: “We’re really going to make opening night at night to remember.” 

NHL taking precautions to ensure team and player safety

The NHL is taking all possible precautions to assist team players, coaches, assistive personal and arena staff. This was a mandated requirement in order to get permission for the league to carry out its planned playoff schedule. After submitting its plan, it was revealed the league would carry out daily testing on all personal involved including owners, hospitality workers, training staff, medical staff and those working within transportation.

In addition, the league revealed that players are required to remain in the host cities and only leave if granted special permission from the league. If given permission, upon their return, they will be forced to undergo four days of quarantine. The league is also enforcing its mask policy, one that requires personal to wear a mask at all times unless on the ice. 

The National Hockey League has worked diligently to hide their COVID-19 infections. Inside sources have indicated that NHL Executives are informing players not to go public. Few professionals have admitted to contracting the virus, with it speculated that NHL is sustaining a 1.3% infection average. That’d be consistent with other sports leagues in the United States that have resumed operations.

The 3rd Phase of NHLs Coronavirus Plan began in late June, with Austin Mathews being the exclusive NHLer to announce his confirmed infection before Caleb Jones. Playing for the Edmonton Oilers, Caleb Jones confirmed his positive test for coronavirus to NHL Online Reporters. He remarked that when arriving in Edmonton on July 5th, it’s possible that COVID-19 was contracted during flight or in the airport. This speculation from Caleb follows after receiving a positive test of COVID-19 after arriving at the hotel.

Caleb Jones indicated that his condition was asymptomatic, supporting zero symptoms of the coronavirus. This meant maintaining fourteen-day isolation, which had ended on July 19th. He won’t attend training until the 20th and suspects that it’ll take a few sessions before former skillsets are reobtained. Prolonged training is required after professional hockey players haven’t been allowed to maintain team exercises for nearly six months.

Rumours to Reality

Speculation regarding Caleb Jones having the novel coronavirus began after the Edmonton Oilers changed his player status to “Unfit for Practice”. Players designated under UFP Status in the National Hockey League are suspected of having coronavirus. Few have made public confirmations out of fear against NHL Executives. Caleb Jones doesn’t maintain this fear and would instead inform the public himself than watch rumours grow to unbelievable levels.

The Head Coach for the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Tippet, spoke on Caleb Jones public confirmation. Dave emphasized that Executives & Supporters should both respect his player for having the courage to announce his positive case, which shouldn’t even be concerning for Caleb’s health. Coach Tippet speculates that there have been numerous asymptomatic cases of coronavirus in the NHL, with most unaware because of minimal testing. It’ll be interesting to see how the NHL Corporate Division reacts to the Edmonton Oilers, possibly fining them for breaking protocols.

Standard attributes associated with our daily ecosystem were removed with the COVID-19 pandemic & it’ll be years before those standards are resumed to conventional means. This creates an incredible level of uncertainty for millions worldwide, with that no longer applying for players in the National Hockey League. The NHLPA & NHL Corporate Division have made a collective agreement that will sustain six years. Their agreement ensures that NHL Ecosystems won’t be destroyed for either party, which became a substantial concern since March 2020.

Democracy is evident throughout this agreement, with both parties removing conditions from their demands on good faith terms. NHL Owners have struggled with specific attributes & the NHLPA have also found stipulations unfavourable. Owners will receive slightly better conditions, with these individuals spending millions yearly to maintain contracts & standard operations. Owners wouldn’t have wanted to backdown from certain conditions that are now negated but were given no other option, with the NHLPA willing to strike for years to come. It would’ve been more costly for owners to sustain their egos.

Salary Cap

Owners are obtaining heightened conditions that lower their associated costs throughout the 2021-26 NHL Seasons. One attribute iterates salary caps won’t exceed a valuation of $81.5 million, meaning each outfit is permitted this figure to sustain former players & acquire new ones. This is lower than the standard salary caps seen in recent years, which means NHL players will receive lower payments on their contracts. Knowing this in advance can be beneficial for escrow purposes & enable players to account for trades over the coming years.

NHL Fans can sleep happily knowing that their favourite sport is resuming under exclusive agreements. Not having to worry about potential fallouts from billionaires battling each other for 2258 days. There’s also the comfort of knowing that the NHLs position in the 2022 & 2026 Winter Olympics is guaranteed under this agreement.

For players, the benefit comes with knowing there won’t be alterations to salary caps. Markets won’t diminish if teams want to permit trades, or if freelance agents want to make new contracts with unknown organisations. Benefits are provided to all communities in the NHL, which is something nobody would’ve thought possible weeks ago when negotiations were nearly dismantled.

The National Hockey League Players Association confirmed that they’re finalizing an agreement with the NHL Corporate Division. Contract details weren’t permitted to reporters until an inside source leaked critical data. It’s now known that this updated NHLPA Contract will be named “The Collective Bargaining Agreement” and sustain itself throughout six years. Sources indicated that all components of their contract were required to move forward with the “NHL Return to Play Series”. All 24 Teams would’ve refused competing if the corporate division denied.

This Memorandum of Understanding won’t become viable until the “NHL Board of Governors” permits the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The fallout of this contract could also apply if one of the twenty-four NHL teams determines their membership shouldn’t be supported. There are chances that specific organizations seeing benefits to extending negotiations will purposely decline membership with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This would force professional hockey to cancel their 2020 Season, allowing lower-status outfits to revise their strategies for 2021.

Fallout on this level is purely speculation, with inside sources remaking that all parties will enter this agreement. Competing ensures that team-wide finances are resumed, which is ultimately more important for owners than strategic advantages. Supporters are expecting NHL to return their televised matches by August 1st. Below, readers will locate known conditions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

NHL Training Camps are resuming between July 13th to 26th, with all teams expected to arrive in Edmonton & Toronto by the 27th. Official matches return on August 1st, with schedules permitting the Stanley Cup Playoffs to begin by October 2020. Sustainable plans could mean the completion of the NHLs 2020 season.

The Return to Play Opt-Out Clause enables all personnel employed with the National Hockey League to not compete in this years remaining matches. Penalties to Employment Contracts won’t be affected by opting out for the remainder of 2020. The NHL is exclusive when providing this option, with all other sports leagues penalizing players that Opt-Out.

The NHL Playoff Pool is doubling its valuation, reaching a standard of $32 Million. Players from the five highest-rated outfits at the “Return to Play Tournament” obtain an additional $20,000.00 for their 2020 season. This reward extends to $240,000.00 for players with the Stanley Cup-winning team.