NHL, NHLPA agree on protocols to resume season

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FILE – In this Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 file photo, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza (19) controls the puck during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo, N.Y. Jason Spezza’s confidence in the NHL returning wasn’t shaken by word of 11 players testing positive for the coronavirus. Given his involvement in Players’ Association talks, the veteran Toronto forward knew from doctors’ input that there would be positive test results in hockey just as there have been in other sports as group workouts ramp up across North America.(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

NATIONAL (AP) — Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press on Sunday that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have agreed on protocols to resume the season.

Daly said the sides are still negotiating a collective bargaining agreement extension.

A CBA extension is still crucial to the process, and the league’s board of governors and players’ executive committee and full membership must approve that and the return to play protocols to bring hockey back this summer.

If ratified, it will end a pandemic-forced shutdown for 31 teams across North America that began in mid-March.

Games would resume in late July or early August with 24 teams taking part in expanded playoffs, finishing with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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