The NHL is officially back after The NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the NHL voted on Friday to ratify an agreement that includes a six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement and a ‘Return to Play’ plan bringing hockey back after a historic, 142-day pause. So, here is what you need to know about how the plan will affect the Calgary Flames.
With training camp scheduled to begin on July 13, the Flames will then travel not long after up north to the Western Conference hub city in Edmonton on July 26. Then, on Aug. 1 the Flames will play in their first game of the Qualifying Round against the Winnipeg Jets.
Here is a look at critical dates that you will need to know:
Here is the Flames’ schedule during the best-of-five Qualifying Round:
- Game 1: August 1
- Game 2: August 3
- Game 3: August 4
- *Game 4: August 6
- *Game 5: August 8
*If needed in best-of-five qualifying series
Where will the Flames stay while in Edmonton?
Along with, Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks and Qualifying Round opponent Winnipeg Jets, the Flames will be staying at Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton — a five minute walk to Rogers Place.
According to NBC Sports:
- “The NHL established a number of safety precautions and regulations within the secure zone and while at games. All members are expected to remain six feet apart at all times, including on planes and busses and while eating. Masks must be worn at all times except for when on the ice, coaches on the bench, broadcasters on air, officials during a game, players during an interview, while eating or drinking or while in someone’s own room. The league also advised players to wash hands regularly and be cautious with high-fives and fist bumps.”
- “Within the secure zone, every player gets their own room and no guests are allowed in those rooms besides housekeepers and engineers. Family members who enter the bubble will be given their own room and must satisfy testing and quarantine requirements if they wish to reside in a player’s room. Every team will have its own floor.”
- “The league also said elevator capacity must be limited and advised players not to use their fingers when pressing the buttons but rather their knuckles or elbow. Talking is prohibited in elevators.”
- “Dining will be done in a buffet-style with plexiglass barriers separating servers from players. Players can also use contactless room service if preferred.”
- “While lobby and bar spaces will remain open, the NHL remarked that details for social activities will be provided closer to Phase 4 but cited the importance of mental health in that section.”
What about the Flames’ opponent?
In the 2019-20 season, the Flames and Jets played against each other only once before the NHL season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The teams met on neutral ice in Regina, Saskatchewan for the Heritage Classic.The game was decided in overtime, where the Jets won 2-1 in a close outdoor game.
The Flames and Jets were scheduled to meet two more times in the regular season, but will now be playing in a best-of-five series again on neutral ice in Rogers Place in Edmonton beginning on Aug. 1. The Flames and Jets finished the shortened season in 19th and 20th place, respectively in terms of points percentage.
We will be posting a detailed analysis of the match up soon.