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June 5 Draft? Is this a sign?

May 3, 2020, 1:00 PM ET [2 Comments]
Thomas Townsend
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The NHL season isn't over... is it? But it is being suggested that the draft take place on June 5? Is that the writing on the wall? Does this move signal an acceptance that the NHL 2019-2020 season is at an end?

Without final standings and a playoff the draft order cannot be set as per the current, 'normal' rules. Suggesting that draft can take place before the end of the season seems strange and has some really interesting impacts and possibly unintended consequences.

Would drafted players be eligible to play in the 'current' season if they get signed? Seems obvious (NO) but would that be a consideration? Would certainly make the higher picks worth a little more if playoff contenders could trade up to those spots.

How would conditional trades be addressed to be fair to all teams involved?

Would trades for current roster players be allowed? Lots of trade talk (and sometimes action) takes place at the draft. Would roster player movement be banned due to the possibility of the season starting back up? Or could you trade roster players, thus re-opening the in-season trade market?

Draft order would be determined by current standings using percentage of points. That sounds fair, except that the best regular season teams don't always end up finishing the in those positions in the playoffs (See TBL 2019).

Should every team be eligible for the draft lottery, given that no teams have played in the playoffs?

Interestingly this may just be the first signal that the NHL season is already over. In Ohio, the governor has issued a 'Stay Safe Order' which is similar to the prior 'Stay at Home Order'. It does allow for the re-opening of some work places and retail businesses. But, it still does not allow large gatherings - like, say 15,000 people getting together to watch a hockey game. That order has an end date of May 29. They order would likely not allow for the team to gather together to practice prior to that date. There are exceptions in the order and the order can be superseded at any time by a new order. I cannot speak to what is going on in other states or countries, but it seems there will be restrictions that don't allow the start of the NHL season until at least the beginning of June.

The regular season may be over, and my guess is that it is. The playoffs may happen in a shortened way. Opening series of 5 games rather than 7. Multiple rounds of 5-game series with only the Cup Final being 7 games. Or we may have to face facts that the season will not result with a Stanley Cup Champion.

Until an announcement by the NHL, there is still hope...

Stay Safe and Go Jackets
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