Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 06: A general view of the atmosphere prior to the start of Game Three between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By 98.5 The Sports Hub Staff

The NHL is finalizing the details of phases 3 and 4 of its return-to-play plan, as the league continues to set the stage for the return of hockey while continuing to battle the spread of COVID-19.

Details are available via two detailed Twitter threads by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Notable was the report that NHL games are tentatively expected to resume on August 1, with training camps starting next Monday, July 13 and teams reporting to the expected hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton by July 26.

Here are some notable details of the NHL’s coronavirus protocols for phases 3-4, per McKenzie:

— Teams will have 30-skater limits at their facilities, with no limit on the number of goalies. (Our own Ty Anderson projected the Bruins’ 30-man roster upon their return.)

The Bruins appear another step closer to returning, as the NHL finalizes details of phases 3-4 of its return-to-play plan. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Bruins appear another step closer to returning, as the NHL finalizes details of phases 3-4 of its return-to-play plan. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

— Players will have until Tuesday, July 7 to opt out of participating in the resumed season. Teams will have to submit a list of participating players no later than Thursday, July 9. (Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy expects full participation from his roster.)

— Players and team personnel will have to be tested for COVID-19 48 hours before reporting to team facilities, with temperature checks coming at their homes and upon entry.

— McKenzie reports a clause explaining that players with underlying conditions may be forced to sit out: “Players who, after consultation with Club doctor who conducted PPME, and the Club’s infectious disease expert, are determined to be at substantial risk of developing a serious illness as a result of exposure to the novel coronavirus shall be deemed to be unfit to play and shall not be permitted to participate in either Phase 3 or Phase 4. A player may initiate a second opinion concerning his fitness to play status pursuant to Paragraph 5 of the Standard Player Contract.”

— Masks will be required inside team facilities, except during on-ice workouts.

The Bruins’ impending return to team workouts at Warrior Ice Arena come as Mass. remains in phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. Mass. remains one of the hardest-hit states in the U.S. in terms of total coronavirus deaths and cases, but has recently experienced a sharp decline. The state reported 136 new cases and 11 new deaths on Sunday.

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