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Report: NHL, NHLPA finalize tentative agreement on return protocols

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The NHL and players' association have finalized a tentative agreement on return-to-play protocols for Phases 3 and 4, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

The two sides continue to work on the details of a new collective bargaining agreement. It was reported Saturday that the new CBA will run for six years.

Both the return-to-play and CBA agreements will need to be ratified by the league's board of governors and the entire NHLPA, McKenzie reports. Players will have 72 hours to vote.

Some of the details in the tentative agreement include a limit of 30 skaters in Phase 3 (training camps) with an unlimited number of goalies. Only players eligible to play in the resumption of the 2019-20 campaign will be permitted to skate in Phase 3, according to McKenzie.

Players who wish to opt out may do so without penalty but must notify their club within three days of the ratification vote being completed, McKenzie adds.

Players must undergo a pre-participation medical exam, and if both the doctor administering the exam and the team's infectious disease expert determine that a player is at "substantial risk of developing a serious illness," the player will be deemed unfit to play but will be able to seek a second opinion, according to McKenzie.

All players and team personnel must be tested for the coronavirus 48 hours prior to returning to the club's training facilities and every second day after that, according to McKenzie. If the results aren't available within 24 hours, the individual won't be permitted to remain in club training facilities until they receive a negative test result.

Failing to comply with return-to-play protocols in the bubble "could lead to significant financial penalties and potentially the loss of draft picks," according to TSN's Frank Seravalli.

Personnel who are authorized to leave the bubble - either for medical reasons or personal circumstances - will be required to quarantine upon their return pending four negative tests over a four-day span, Seravalli adds. That time frame could be increased depending on location or circumstances outside the bubble.

Training camps are reportedly slated to open July 13, with teams traveling to their respective hubs by July 26 before qualifying-round games begin Aug. 1. The Stanley Cup is to be awarded in early October.

Edmonton and Toronto are reportedly the two locations that have been selected as hub cities to host the remaining games. The conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will reportedly be held in Edmonton, and family members will be permitted to enter the bubble at that point, according to Seravalli.

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