NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHLPA have officially approved a return-to-play plan and ratified a new CBA. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

NHL, NHLPA officially approve 24-team resumption, four-year CBA extension

As was widely expected, the NHL and NHL Players' Association approved the 24-team model to crown a 2019-20 Stanley Cup champion amid the coronavirus pandemic on Friday. 

Edmonton will serve as a temporary hub for Western Conference clubs, while Toronto will hold the Eastern Conference teams. 

The official statement between the parties adds that the deal includes a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.

Between five and six games will occur every day from Aug. 1 through Aug. 9 (as necessary per each series) as teams battle for postseason qualifying berths. 

The Stanley Cup Final is tentatively scheduled to begin on Sept. 20 and finish no later than Oct. 4, with the start of the 2020-21 campaign penciled-in for Dec. 1. 

Players who wish to opt-out of the resumption must make those requests known in-writing before training camps open on July 13. 

ESPN's Emily Kaplan added the CBA opens up the possibility of NHL players returning to Olympic tournaments after the league banned its athletes from the 2018 Winter Games. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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