Bruce Kluckhohn | Credit: NHLI via Getty Images

NHL Sets Dates for Stanley Cup Playoffs; Wild Heading to Edmonton

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Buckle up, hockey fans. We have an official date for the NHL restart!

The league and players’ union made the announcement Monday afternoon, and there are three important dates to mark on your calendars:

  • July 13 – Start of formal training camps
  • July 26 – Clubs travel to hub cities
  • August 1 – Start of Qualifying Round

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We have been waiting anxiously for word on what the next steps for the NHL were going to be. We already knew how the draft and playoffs were going to work. But it is great to finally have concrete dates set.

Teams will begin their training camps in their home cities. They then travel to either Edmonton or Toronto for the Qualifying Round or round robin games (if a top four seed in each conference). While shocking that the NHL went with two Canadian cities for the restart, the escalation of COVID in the states make that the best bet. Toronto will host the Eastern Conference teams and Edmonton the Western Conference.

In addition, the two parties also agreed to extend the current CBA by four years. This means it will ensure labor peace through the 2025-26 instead of 2021-22. Within the negotiations, the parties agreed to include new transition rules and a critical dates calendar.


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WILD TIMES

While the Minnesota Wild are set to face the Vancouver Canucks in their Qualifying Round, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

There is speculation among fans and pundits whether the team should lose the pre-Stanley Cup Playoffs round to have a shot at the first overall pick in the 2020 Draft. Others however think they have as great of a shot at the Cup as everyone else. That chance took a hit with Russian-superstar Kirill Kaprizov unable to play for the Wild this summer.


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If Kaprizov signs now it would mean no ice-time and burning through a year of his two year contract which makes this a rough situation for both parties. It also changes who will be called up from the Iowa Wild for the Qualifying Round and potential playoff run.

No matter where or who the Wild are playing this summer, it will be a breath of fresh air to see hockey properly finished this year. Even if we end up winning the Qualifying Round and lose in the first round of the playoffs. We still have a young core to win the Cup in 2021.

Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan

jkewitsch

Edina native and two-time grad of the University of Florida in Sport Management. Previously worked with the Timberwolves and Minnesota United FC along with the Gators.

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