We still don’t know if, or when the NHL will resume the 2019-20 season. The league has floated around some ideas, but we most likely won’t hear anything concrete until some point in May.
Commissioner Gary Bettman joined Sportsnet Canads for an in-depth interview and discussed some options the NHL is looking at to resume play.
“Anything we’re considering doing starts with health and well-being, whether it’s the players or other personnel or fans or the community at large. Everybody is going through a tough time,” Bettman said. “In Conversation.” “We’re hopeful that by doing the right things in the short term that we’re able to come back and hopefully complete this season on some basis that is fair and has integrity.”
Here are some of the topics Bettman discussed about continuing the season:
- The league is looking at spreading out all remaining games through four NHL arenas. Reports indicate three places in particular; Edmonton, Carolina and Minnesota due to lesser chance of a large outbreak occurring in those specific cities. There would be no fans in attendance and the league would schedule three games a day at each venue.
Bettman says fans will not be allowed to games until medical people and government officials say it is clear to do so.
- The league has discussed holding the draft in June.
“It was a trial balloon. No decision has been made,” he said. “But as I said when we were getting feedback, we don’t live in a world of perfect anymore. We’re going to have to make adjustments. Ideally from our standpoint would be if we can complete the regular season, even if it’s on a centralized basis, and then go into the playoffs that we normally play.”
This would be interesting considering the impact it would have on player movement. A ton of trades are made at the draft, so losing out on that would make the draft less interesting.
- Bettman also added that if the season is cancelled, the league would figure out a way to makeup the revenue gap between owners and players. The league would look at giving credits to its local broadcast partners, but with the NHL making most of its TV related revenue from the playoffs, there will be a way to make up some of the deficit.
“I don’t want to get into the specific numbers. The fact is that we have a system that made the game healthy, that has paid the players more than before the system was in place and has made our game more competitive than it’s ever been,” he said. “The system works, in good times and in difficult times.”
- The commissioner also said teams would hold a training camp to get back into shape for the remainder of the season, although he didn’t mention a specific amount of days or weeks.
This solution isn’t ideal for anyone, but considering the circumstances, it would be a welcome sight to have hockey back in our lives.
I believe the league should find a way to play out the remainder of the regular season games and ensure a champion is crowned.
The Ducks would currently have the fifth-best lottery odds if things ended as is. Playing out the schedule could improve or worsen their chances depending on their final 11 games.
What do you think of Bettman’s idea?