Bruins' round-robin schedule set as NHL, NHLPA ratify Return to Play plan

Scott McLaughlin
July 10, 2020 - 7:43 pm

The NHL's return is now official, and we now have dates for the Bruins' three round-robin games.

The league announced Friday evening that the NHL and the NHL Players' Association have ratified the Return to Play Plan and the four-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that were sent to each side for approval earlier this week.

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With the ratification, full training camps will begin as scheduled on Monday, followed by teams traveling to their respective hub cities on July 26 and then the beginning of games on Aug. 1.

The NHL also announced the schedule for its Stanley Cup qualifying round as well as the round-robin tournament for the top four seeds in each conference.

The Bruins will play their first round-robin game against the Flyers on Sunday, Aug. 2, one day after the first games of the best-of-five play-in round. They will then face the Lightning on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and the Capitals on Saturday, Aug. 8.

The team with the best record in the three round-robin games will get the No. 1 seed for the conference quarterfinals.

As expected, the Bruins and the rest of the Eastern Conference will officially be heading to Toronto through the conference semifinals, while the Western Conference will be heading to Edmonton. Both conference finals and the Stanley Cup Final will be held in Edmonton.

Each team will be allowed to bring a maximum of 52 people to the bubble, including a maximum of 31 players.

Also as expected, the early rounds of the playoffs will indeed be a viewing bonanza for hockey fans. While all the start times and the full TV schedule are expected to be released in the coming days, the NHL did confirm that games will begin as early as 12 p.m. ET (in Toronto) and run all day through a likely 10:30 p.m. ET start (in Edmonton).

The first two days of games on Aug. 1 and 2 will each feature five games, the next three will all feature six, and then each day after that could also feature up to six depending on how many play-in series are still going. The play-in round and round-robin tournaments are scheduled to conclude on Aug. 9.

The league also announced that Phase 2 of the draft lottery will take place on Aug. 10 and that the NHL Draft is tentatively scheduled to take place on Oct. 9 and 10.

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