The NHL is still optimistic that the 2019-20 season can be completed and more things are opening up as each day passes, according to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie. The plan is in place and the league is working on it but they are aware that there could be roadblocks along the way.
The return to play committee have already met two times this week and will make it a third later on to determine items such as the format for the rest of the season, safety issues, and how long players will be away from their families.
The players want to know what type of role that escrow and CBA extension will play regarding next season.
McKenzie said that having the 2020 NHL Draft in June is “not dead but it’s on life support.” A final decision will not be made until next week and because of that, “it could go either way but” the NHL is realizing that the time, effort, and trying to get every team on board with the idea might be too big of a hill to climb. McKenzie said that he is more pessimistic than optimistic about seeing the NHL Draft being held next month.
The NHL feels comfortable that the pushback on the draft will come from the general managers and owners rather than the players association. Most of the reaction was “We may not like it, but whatever the league wants, it gets,” according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman.
He added that the league will provide teams with a 30-days notice before holding the NHL Draft, which rules out the possibility of holding it June 5-6. Though, the original date of June 26-27 is still on the table.
On the Board of Governors call three days after the idea of holding the NHL Draft early was pitched, Freidman thinks that “approximately half the teams” showed absolute disapproval of doing it before the end of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Many teams did not even want to have that argument.
One of the NHL’s concerns with having the draft after the Stanley Cup is awarded is suddenly the sports calendar is packed with leagues like the NFL, tennis majors, golf majors, big horse races, and MLB starting up. However, Freidman said that argument is not convincing anyone to hold the NHL Draft early.
By Harrison Brown