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Report: Sharks to open season in Arizona due to COVID-19 restrictions

Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The San Jose Sharks will host training camp and start their regular season in Arizona due to local COVID-19 restrictions, a source told John Wawrow of The Associated Press.

California's Santa Clara County has banned contact sports through at least Jan. 8. The NFL's San Francisco 49ers have also relocated to Arizona due to the government mandate.

The NHL and NHLPA reportedly agreed on a tentative 56-game campaign with training camp opening Jan. 3 and the regular season starting Jan. 13. Since the Sharks were one of the seven teams to miss out on the expanded playoffs over the summer, the team will be permitted to open camp Dec. 31.

The league's board of governors still needs to vote on the agreement before the campaign is set in stone. Their decision is expected over the next few days.

The NHL's placement of Canadian teams is one significant obstacle facing the league's potential return. A seven-team division solely north of the border was the original plan, but provincial and municipal health units have recently questioned the idea and will need to approve anything before the NHL can finalize decisions.

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