The Wild have known for more than a month that the plan was to have them face the Vancouver Canucks in the qualifying round of the NHL’s return to play in order to set the postseason field that will conclude the league’s long-ago interrupted 2019-20 season.
But on Friday, the league’s plan took a key step as the NHL and the NHL Players Association ratified an extension of the collective bargaining agreement through September 2026, and the sides agreed on protocols that will govern the resumption of play following what will be a four-plus month break because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wild and Canucks will open their five-game series on Sunday, Aug. 2 and all games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The Western Conference teams will play all games in Edmonton and Eastern Conference teams will be housed in a similar “bubble” in Toronto. The remaining schedule for the Wild and Canucks will feature game on Tuesday, Aug. 4, Thursday, Aug. 6, Friday, Aug. 7 and Sunday, Aug. 9. The lower-seeded Wild will be the home team in Games 3-4 and Games 4-5 will be played only if they are necessary.
Fox Sports North is expected to carry the qualifying round games, but the telecast schedule and times will be announced at a later date. That’s unless you believe the Canucks have the accurate times and elected to release them. If that’s the case, just add two hours to the time listed by Vancouver. So Game 1 would begin at 9:30 p.m. in the Twin Cities.
GET YOUR POPCORN READYYYYYY 🍿🏒 pic.twitter.com/Kia6qKuiuv
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) July 10, 2020
Here are some of the important dates as the NHL transitions from Phase 2 to Phase 3 in the coming week.
The Wild released their training camp roster on Saturday. Thirty-one players can make the trip to Edmonton.
20 Ryan Suter
21 Carson Soucy
24 Matt Dumba
25 Jonas Brodin
44 Matt Bartkowski
46 Jared Spurgeon
47 Louie Belpedio
59 Calen Addison
61 Brennan Menell
77 Brad Hunt
29 Greg Pateryn (upper-body)