Keeping the NHL Entry Draft in June raises many questions


Just a few notes on a few NHL events:

The league proposed to the teams that they go ahead with the project in June. On the surface, I understand – the NFL Draft is an animal even larger than normal due to the sports vacuum created by COVID-19. This would keep the NHL relevant, give everyone something to say and mean not to squeeze it in for a short off season.

Another reason for doing so is that the contracts expire on June 30, and many Scouts / Managers working on the project are currently not contracted for a summer event later. A team apparently has 18 expiring contracts.

However, there are a few questions that should be answered:

• What do you do with conditional selections based on where the teams end the playoffs – or if they qualify for the playoffs?

• How do you manage players who could start next season elsewhere if the start of the 2020-2021 NHL is delayed until the end of the year? This could include CHL / NCAA / European players – although their situation is unclear at this time. Would these players be excluded from their teams and would they be able to join the NHL camps?

• Teams who know they will make it to the playoffs will not be able to trade players they wish to use for draft picks.

• Because of the possibility of expanding the playoffs, someone asked if a team could actually win the lottery and then the Stanley Cup.

Obviously, all of these things would have to be fleshed out if a June project were to happen.

The idea of ​​neutral sites sounds like a no-go.

Instead, we are considering an NHL city by division to resume the season. Teams from this division would be brought to this location. And, it looks like the plan is to finish the regular season – if possible. One idea, a triple header per day at each location to do it in three weeks. Players must agree.

Looking at the CDC and Canadian news, I could see places like Edmonton, Minnesota and Raleigh being options if the respective league and governments agreed.

The 2020-21 American Hockey League season is of great concern if fans are not allowed to attend the games. I guess several leagues in many different sports would face an equally painful decision.

Leagues with higher television revenues are better placed to deal with this problem, but the AHL does not have this advantage.

Just over half of the 31 AHL teams belong to their NHL parent. Will NHL teams who have affiliation agreements with their partner AHL be willing to rework them for the benefit of the minor league club? I can’t imagine that too many big league teams want their prospects to disappear without playing next season.

And finally, Dustin Byfuglien is not yet officially retiring. Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said it best in his conference call last week that only Byfuglien will know if he will play again. Former Instagram teammates Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg said on Instagram Live that they didn’t think he would come back.

But, at this point, Byfuglien does not make it official. When Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls in 1999, he refused to say it was 100%. “It’s close,” said Jordan. “I will never say ever. But I would say 99.9 “.

Jordan returned with the Wizards in October 2001. The odds are against Byfuglien, but as The last dance captivates everyone – why not use the link?

Part II of our 2010-2011 Vancouver Canucks oral history is out on Wednesday. 31 thoughts are coming back next week.


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