Bad news right away to start. Not surprising in the least, but it still stings to see it become official. Obviously a short term delay could mean long-term benefits when it comes to beating coronavirus and restarting life in America. And according to Pierre Lebrun, the NHL is willing to get creative when it comes to restarting the season
I have no idea how any of this is going to play out, but this feels too much like 10lbs in a 5lb bag. I'd love to have some hockey this summer, but it does sort feel impossible to expect the players to ramp things back up in July, play a season, have maybe like september off again and then fire things back up again have another season schedule be fucked up by starting in November. When is the draft? What about free agency? And now push back from players is happening, at least for the first time publicly
There doesn't appear to be a good option. Money, health and safety of the players both related to coronavirus and related to having to ramp up to a playoff level after a 4 month lay-off.
Pierre Lebrun laid out why having some semblance of a regular season before the playoffs is important in the Athletic
- Many players, some of whom have been quoted in media video calls over the past few weeks, are in favour of playing some regular season games in order to be able to ramp up their game shape before the playoffs, easing concerns of injuries;
- It would help even out games played among bubble teams and democratically decide the 16-team playoff field in a more normal fashion rather than decide between points percentage or rolled back games played in the current frozen standings;
- It would line up the draft lottery more normally without the league having to make any hotly debated decisions;
- There are also some teams whose regional TV deals have financial implications and/or thresholds in which a few more regular season games could be impactful that way.
I just don't see how that out-weighs having a full, healthy, and better product in 2020-21. That is coming from the perspective of someone who knows next to nothing about the business of the NHL. I just want the product that I know and love. The league has never been stronger and I don't want to sacrifice next season just to have some patchwork bullshit to make a few extra bucks on a lost season.
Don't tell that to the Sens owner though
Pierre Dorion, definitely a guy who wants to squeeze every penny he can out of this lost season.