After almost four months of negotiations driven by the interruption of the season due to Covid-19, the National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association last Friday shook on a four-year collective bargaining agreement extension through the 2025-2026 campaign that also included the return-to-play deal for this season.
The New York Islanders, slated to begin an Eastern Conference best-of-five qualifying round playoff series against the Florida Panthers on Aug. 1 in Toronto, were back in full force Monday at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow where they will hold camp for about two weeks.
The Islanders and the rest of the 24 playoff-bound NHL clubs began voluntary workouts June 8 but were limited to six skaters on the ice at a time with no coaches permitted. Some of the players who skated at Northwell prior to Monday’s full practice were Josh Bailey, Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck, Scott Mayfield, Devon Toews, and goaltenders Thomas Greiss and Christopher Gibson.
The Isles, who enjoyed a franchise-record 17-game point streak, including 15 wins, from Oct. 12-Nov. 25, were on a seven-game winless slide when the season was halted March 12. Their final regular-season record was 35 wins, 23 losses and 10 overtime or shootout defeats for 80 points.
The team will practice in East Meadow until it reports to Toronto with the other 11 Eastern Conference playoff clubs on July 26. Edmonton is the host city for the Western Conference qualifiers.
All 24 teams still competing will play one or two exhibition games before the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. The Cup Finals are scheduled to start Sept. 22.