Photo Credit: © Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs start playing hockey again on August 2, other important dates

Hockey’s back baby!

As the NHL announces the ratification of both the new CBA and the Return to Play protocol, they also announced several important dates for the NHL schedule.

First off, we have an actual schedule for hockey games during the qualifying round.

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The Leafs and Blue Jackets will play on August 2, 4, & 6, as well as August 7 & 9 if the series requires more than three games. The one benefit that the teams in the round robin have is that they get at least a day between each game, with some getting as much as three, while the qualifying teams get only one day between games and a guaranteed back-to-back. One benefit the Leafs have is that their back-to-back is games 3 & 4, which means that they might not have to worry about a back-to-back if the series is done in three games.

The back-to-back might be more advantageous to Columbus, as they have the potential to swap goalies without a huge drop-off in talent, while the Leafs might look to stick with Andersen for both games. Might be nothing, but something that came to mind.

The NHL also announced a bunch of critical dates for the playoffs, draft, and free agency. The most notable is that the last possible day for the Stanley Cup Final is October 4th, and the draft taking place on the 9th and 10th.

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Not mentioned in Seravalli’s tweet, but touched on by Chris Johnston here is that free agency might start the same day as the first round of the draft, which could lead to some potential chaos, and I for one am here for it.