Islanders: Key dates to know for NHL Return To Play plan (Update)

The New York Islanders logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The New York Islanders logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Hockey is coming back, here are the dates New York Islanders fans need to know.

The NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously voted in favor of the new four-year CBA and the NHL’s RTP plan while the players voted 502-135 in favor of both. Meaning New York Islanders hockey is back.

So, with the RTP plan and CBA agreed upon by both sides here are the critical dates that you need to know for the next few months. Dates like when do the Isles play their qualifying round, when do the playoffs start, and when is the second phase of the Draft Lottery?

Phase 3 and 4

July 13 – Beginning of training camp

Training camps will be held in the team’s respective city. So for the Islanders, their training camp will be held on the Islanders and likely take place at their Northwell Health Ice Center training facility in East Meadow.

July 26 – Travel to hub cities

For the New York Islanders, and all 12 Eastern Conference teams still playing, their hub city will be Toronto. The Isles and seven other Eastern Conference teams, like the New York Rangers, will stay at the Royal York Hotel, which is a five-minute walk to Scotiabank Arena.

Once players get to the hub city they then enter what the NHL is calling the “Secure Zone” which is another (and slightly more terrifying) way of saying “quarantine bubble”. In the “Secure Zone”, players must wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

July 28-30 – Exhibition games

Each team will play one exhibition game once they arrive in the hub city. Who they play and when has yet to be decided. But July 28th will likely be the first time we see some form of competitive Islanders hockey since March 10 when the Isles lost 5-4 to the Canucks in a shootout.

August 1 – Beginning of qualifying round

Here we go. August 1, hockey is officially back. Here is the schedule for the Isles qualifying round against the Florida Panthers:

  • Game 1: August 1
  • Game 2: August 4
  • Game 3: August 5
  • Game 4: August 7*
  • Game 5: August 9*
  • *=If necessary

August 10 – Second Draft Lottery

We should find out which of the eight qualifying round losers will get the right to draft Alexis Lafreniere with the first overall pick between the completion of the qualifying round and the start of the playoffs. August 10 is a tentative date.

Stanley Cup Playoff Dates

  • Aug 11- Beginning of Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • Aug 25* – Second Round
  • Sep 8* – Conference Finals^
  • Sep 22* – Stanley Cup Finals**
  • Oct 4 – Latest Stanley Cup is awarded
  • * Tentative dates
  • ^ Families can now join players in the Secure Zone.
  • **Eastern Conference champion will travel to Edmonton for the Stanley Cup final.

Oct. 9-10 – 2020 NHL Entry Draft

The Isles could be selecting Alexis Lafreniere with the first overall pick if they lose to Florida and win the first overall pick in the second draft lottery or we don’t make a pick until round three of the draft.

Oct. 9* – Opening of free agency

The start of free agency is set for October 9 or seven days after the Stanley Cup Finals are over, whichever is later. Meaning we could have free agency open on the same day as the first round of the draft. Which would be absolutely bananas