News NHL announces plan to return to the ice SHARE ON: Casey Kenny, staff Tuesday, May. 26th, 2020 (Photo supplied by Vista News Reporter Casey Kenny). The National Hockey League could soon be back on the ice. League commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league is planning a 24-team Return-to-Play format but no specific dates were given. Bettman says he doesn’t think training camps will get started before the first half of July which means the season would likely not resume until August should it be deemed safe to play. He adds the Return-to-Play Committee is still debating whether the playoffs will use re-seeding or bracketing. Bettman says 10 team’s cities are still in the running to be the two hubs the league is expecting to return to. Among the candidates are Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver.