The news came fast and furious on Friday night. The NHL and NHLPA officially ratified the four-year CBA extension and the Phase 3/4 Return to Play Plan. NHL players will sequester in Toronto, and Edmonton bubble cities for the Qualifying Round and first two rounds of the playoffs before the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will take place in the Edmonton hub. We also got the Pittsburgh Penguins schedule.
The first weeks will be like March Madness, every day. Games will begin in Toronto at noon, 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. The schedule will be the same in the Edmonton hub, but because of the time difference, the games will start at 2 p.m. EST, 6 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST.
In other words, all hockey, all day.
The NHL didn’t think you would mind.
For initial breakdowns of the Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens Qualifying round, which will be a best-of-five series, PHN has been analyzing different angles, lines, and possibilities throughout the break. Here is the primary breakdown.
Game times are unconfirmed, but it appears the Penguins will play at 8 p.m because they are listed as the last game on each day.
The Pittsburgh Penguins Schedule vs. Monreal Canadiens
Game 1: Aug. 1
Game 2: Aug. 3
Game 3: Aug. 5
Game 4*: Aug. 7
Game 5*: Aug. 8
It was previously reported the round-robin tournament to determine seeding among the top four teams in each conference would be slated as the middle game. Still, they are listed as the first game each day on the NHL scheduling rubric.
Our new colleague, George Richards, posted the schedule on his Twitter feed. He’ll be covering the Panthers vs. New York Islanders Qualifying Round.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) July 10, 2020
Phase 3 training camps will begin on Monday, July 13. Players have until 5 p.m. on Monday to opt-out of the NHL Return to Play and still receive full playoff bonuses. Games will begin Aug. 1.