While the 2019-20 season remains on “pause,” the NHL announced that the 2020 NHL Draft, Combine, and Awards have all been postponed.
The league explains that the “location, timing, and format” of the 2020 NHL Draft (and corresponding lottery) will be announced once details have been finalized. This makes sense, as The Athletic’s Craig Custance reports that the league and team executives are battering around different ideas about how to handle the lottery (sub required).
(Sadly, Custance’s report also mostly shoots down the most-fun ideas, like a tournament among cellar dwellers to decide who gets the top pick. Perhaps that would be too exciting?)
The Combine was originally set for June 1-6 in Buffalo, the awards ceremony was going to take place in Las Vegas once again on June 18, while the 2020 NHL Draft was originally set for June 26-27 in Montreal.
If the NHL parallels other sports leagues, these events will likely be handled mostly online and in scaled-down formats, but we’ll wait and see.
Lamenting the Draft, Combine, Awards being postponed
Those looking for the biggest losers of this announcement will focus on:
- Scouts, and other people who want to know if someone can or cannot do pull-ups.
- People who love to laugh at awkward Combine photos, assuming that sweaty event doesn’t happen at all.
Actually, quick question. Which genre of Combine photo is more amusing? Do you rate the various funny faces while lifting shots the highest?
… Or those V02 tests from earlier Combines, where the shenanigans went from cheeky to cruel once they got rid of those masks? (Waits for bad Bane impressions.)
Actually, the answer is probably c) wild hockey hair photos.
- Also losing: anyone wondering if Kenan Thompson would be back for another strong Awards performance. Would his rivalry with the Lightning have continued? We may never know.
Anyway, we still await bigger announcements regarding the 2019-20 NHL season, but now we know that the Draft, Combine, and Awards will be postponed. (Again, it’s fair to wonder how the Combine can really function. Rigorous workouts on Skype or Zoom? I’m running out of streaming platforms here, gang.)
Let’s be honest, shutting down the Awards in Vegas was kind of a no-brainer for public health, if nothing else. Trust me on that one.
- NHL pushes back possible return to around May, maybe later.
- NHL players told to self-isolate through March.
- KHL cancels remainder of season.
- AHL also says it will pause through at least May.
- ECHL among leagues that canceled 2019-20 season.
- QMJHL follows suit.
- Uncertainty awaits as NHL puts season on ice — for now.
- How grassroots hockey has been affected by COVID-19.
- Where the NHL left off with 2019-20 season in limbo.
- Looking at shortened and postponed NHL seasons.