Ramblings: CBA Ratified, Top Frozen Tools Search Rielly, Playoff Pool Picks (July 11)

Ian Gooding

2020-07-11

It's now officially official. The NHL and NHLPA have voted to accept the new CBA and the return-to-play plan. Barring a massive COVID-19 outbreak either in the bubble or nearby, we will witness playoff hockey in less than a month. Training camps will open on Monday, with teams travelling to the hub cities on July 26. After months of virtually nothing to talk about, the stretch from August onward could be very jam-packed with hockey news both on and off the ice. Weekday daytime hockey may not be ideal, but it's better than what we've had the past few months.

Here is the schedule of critical dates and the qualifying games.

Any opt outs have to be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on Monday. I don't think there will be a ton of players that will go this route, even though just over 20 percent of players voted against the full CBA and RTP package. However, with possible positive coronavirus cases and changing family situations, I'm not sure that all players will feel comfortable with having such a quick deadline.

Speaking of which, it looks like we have our first opt-out player. According to the Calgary Flames website, Travis Hamonic has informed the Flames he will opt out due to family reasons. In a statement, Hamonic attributed his daughter's battle last year with respiratory virus. For that