The NHL is Back! Here’s Everything You Need To Know

The return of the NHL is pretty much set in stone. The NHL has released the schedule for the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round, and it starts on August 1. 

NHL Return
@nhl One of the craziest finishes you’ll ever see! ????   Relive the @nhlblackhawks 2013 #StanleyCup victory tonight at 8p ET on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (Source)

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, the qualifying round will consist of twenty-four teams, twelve from each conference. The seeding will be based on each team’s winning percentage at the end of the regular season. The top four teams from each conference will be safe from elimination and compete in a round-robin for seeding in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Meanwhile, the 5-12 seeds will play each other in best of five series based on their seeding. The winners from these matchups will advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If you’ve read my previous articles, you will also know that all games will be played in Edmonton or Toronto. All Eastern Conference games excluding the Conference Final will be played in Toronto, and all Western Conference games as well as both Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final.

@philadelphiaflyers Captain Claude has returned to settle unfinished business. #StayReady (Source)

RELATED: NHL Announces that Edmonton and Toronto will be Hub Cities For the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The NHL has also released the hotel assignments for each team. The two hotels in Toronto that will host the Eastern Conference teams are Hotel X and the Royal York Hotel. Hotel X will host the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philidelphia Flyers. The Royal York Hotel will host the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colombus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and Montreal Canadiens.

The two hotels in Edmonton that will host the Western Conference teams are the JW Marriott and Sutton Place Hotel. The JW Marriott will host the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers, and Nashville Predators. Meanwhile, the Sutton Place Hotel will host the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes, and Chicago Blackhawks.

July 13: Start of formal training camp
July 26: Teams travel to hub cities
August 1: Start of Qualifying Round
  The NHL and NHLPA have reached a tentative agreement on a Return to Play Plan and Memorandum of Understanding that adds an additional four years to the term of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Source)

No matter how hockey returns, we are more than lucky it is finally returning.

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