The NHL has announced its possible plans of returning to the rink:
Breaking: The NHL announced Tuesday it will abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16, if it is able to resume play. pic.twitter.com/mjEru1N8Sf— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 26, 2020
-- The regular season, which was put on pause on March 12, is officially over.
-- 24 teams -- 12 in each conference -- are advancing to the playoffs.
-- Each division will have its own "hub" city where games are played and teams are housed. Games will not have fans in attendance. Those cities have yet to be determined.
-- Phase 2 of returning will begin in early June and consist of regular testing, temperature checks, and 6-players-only training sessions. Team personnel are not allowed on ice and the media has been banned from practice facilities. Players who are away from their home team communities and rely on transport like commercial flights will need to self-quarantine for two weeks before they can go back to training.
-- Phase 3, set to start no earlier than July 1, will see more team members and personnel allowed in training facilities.
-- Phase 4 is when teams will begin playing. No date was announced.
This all, of course, relies on agreements between the NHL and the Player's Association on health, safety, and other issues. The Association has yet to approve any return plan.