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Regal Rundown: Phase 3 will begin on July 10

The NHL Return to Play is one step closer to fruition.

2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Team Practices & Family Skate Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Despite numerous safety concerns and logistical hurdles that stand in the way of the NHL postseason, the Return to Play continues to proceed on a very reasonable timeline.

The players agreed to the structure of a modified postseason just over two weeks ago, and the reopening of practice facilities (a.k.a. Phase 2) has come and gone essentially without incident. Now, the league has a date for the start of Phase 3: training camp will reportedly begin on July 10.

Teams are currently limited to six players on the ice at a given time, so there will presumably have to be a ramp up period in between now and July 10 so that teams are ready to have a full roster as well as coaches and trainers present for camp.

It is unknown as of yet if all teams will be able to conduct training camp in their home markets. There is speculation that certain Canadian teams will set up shop in the United States to bypass the mandatory quarantine period.

Although the players have agreed to the 24-team postseason format, it is crucial to remember that they have not approved the return to play (Phase 4) itself. Therefore, even though the NHL is on track to begin its postseason in August, there remains the possibility that everything could come undone.

I remain torn on what is best for the league at this point. The prospect of losing a postseason is unpleasant, but the long-term ramifications of this schedule change are also less than ideal.

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