The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to extend all expiring player contracts and work permits to the end of October, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.
The agreement, which was first reported by CapFriendly.com, is pending an overall agreement between the league and union on a return-to-play timeline.
The normal league year runs from July 1 to June 30. But with the league planning to resume play on the 2019-20 season in a revised format later this summer, an agreement was needed to cover all players set to become free agents at the end of the year. Now, those players will be eligible to play for their current team when the NHL returns.
The NHL announced in May that if it was able to return, 24 teams would compete for the Stanley Cup in two hub cities. In this format, the top four teams in each conference would play each other for playoff seeding while the next eight teams in each conference would play in a best-of-five series to determine the other playoff spots.
Since that announcement, the league and union have been working on the finer details of the plan. While no dates for games have been set yet, training camps are scheduled to begin July 10.