Following a 142-day pause, the National Hockey League will drop the puck with a five-game schedule of Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Saturday, Aug. 1, as the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and NHL ratified a four-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (through 2025-26) and a Return to Play Plan. The sweeping agreements pave the way for the resumption of the 2019-20 NHL season toward the crowning of a Stanley Cup champion by early October and provide an updated economic framework for the League and its Players, including addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When competition resumes, the 12 participating Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto, while the 12 participating Western Conference teams will compete in Edmonton. The Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final will take place in Edmonton. Each team will be permitted to bring a maximum of 52 individuals into the Secure Zones in the hub cities, including a maximum of 31 players.
In keeping with the League's commitment to the health and safety of all participants, each of the 52 Club personnel will live inside a secure "bubble" - the Phase 4 Secure Zone - and will be tested daily for COVID-19 as well as being administered daily temperature checks and symptom screenings.