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Report: NHL Playoffs to Start July 30 After Two-Week Training Camp, Exhibition Game

The 2019-20 NHL season is set to resume on July 30 with the qualifying rounds of the playoffs, according to the New York Post's Larry Brooks.

As reportedly discussed in an NHL general managers' meeting, the remaining teams will hold a two-week training camp before heading to their respective hub city on July 23 or 24. Once arrived, the teams will participate in one exhibition game prior to the start of the Stanley Cup tournament, per Brooks

While the hub cities for the playoffs are not yet confirmed, the league will reportedly finalize the locations "within the next week or so." The 24 playoff teams are expected to be split between two hub cities. 

NHL teams are scheduled to begin two-week training camps on July 10 in their own facilities. Teams are allowed to have 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goaltenders at camp, and 28 skaters along with unlimited goaltenders per team will be allotted for the playoffs, according to Brooks. Players on the injured reserve reportedly do not count against the limit.

As social distancing rules have been "discussed and reaffirmed" for the tournament, the Tampa Bay Lightning were forced to close their training facility after multiple COVID-19 tests came back positive. The NHL plans to test players for COVID-19 daily if games resume. 

Prior to training camps, team general managers and coaches will be permitted to watch Phase 2 on-ice sessions starting on Monday, per Brooks.

The NHLPA approved a 24-team modified playoff format, forgoing the rest of the regular season, to attempt to finish the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The conference-based tournament will include a 16-team, eight-series qualifying round and a round-robin competition among the top four teams in each conference to determine seeding for the first round.

Among major sports, the NBA season is reportedly scheduled to resume on July 30 in Orlando, Fla.