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Approaching Phase 3 Of The Return To Play

from Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

As players, executives and fans continue to adjust to the new normal, we will provide updates every week, answering all the burning questions about the various angles of the NHL's relation to the pandemic....

What are the league and the players still working on finalizing ahead of Phase 3's expected start on July 10?

Greg Wyshynski: There have been two separate, but undeniably related, negotiations going on between the NHL and the players: the return-to-play protocols and an extension of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which is due to expire in September 2022.

The return-to-play vote is essentially simple: Do the players want to come back to complete the 2019-20 season in a 24-team tournament spread out between two hub cities, living in a quarantine bubble for up to two and a half months? There are complicated issues that inform that decision, including testing protocols, the ability to see their families, life during off days inside the bubbles and much more. But this is the question on which they'll vote.

And it's hard to get a handle on the players' sentiments. Older players with families and at-risk relatives are going to approach this differently than a 22-year-old who just wants to play hockey.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com