DATES FINALIZED FOR BEST-OF-5 VS. OILERS, DRAFT
The Blackhawks-Oilers series is officially on.
The best-of-five qualifying-round series will begin Aug. 1 in Edmonton and could conclude Aug. 8, when Game 5 is scheduled.
The NHL and the players association approved the restart plan Friday, as well as the extension to the collective-bargaining agreement, which was agreed upon this week.
The first round (after the qualifying round) will begin Aug. 11; the second round will start Aug. 25; the conference finals will begin Sept. 8; and the Stanley Cup Final will start Sept. 22.
Meanwhile, the second draft lottery — to determine who will have the No. 1 overall pick — will take place
Aug. 10, right after the end of the qualifying round. The draft will take place Oct. 9-10.
The Hawks will begin training camp Monday at Fifth
Third Arena and travel to Edmonton — now officially the Western Conference’s hub city — July 26.
The NHL plans to increase the playoff schedule with staggered start times in Toronto and Edmonton and play five or six games every day. The Hawks-Oilers series is one of five series that will begin the qualifying round Aug. 1. A round robin between each of the conference’s top four seeds will begin the next day, intermixed in the qualifying-round schedule.
The league also announced that individual statistics from the qualifying-round games will count as playoff stats.
“This agreement is a meaningful step forward for the players and owners, and for our game, in a difficult and uncertain time,” NHLPA director Donald Fehr said in a statement. “Most importantly, we are pleased to be able to bring NHL hockey back to the fans.” ✶