Doug Wilson, like every NHL general manager, has a vested interest in the final 2019-20 standings. Depending on how the draft order is determined and how the Stanley Cup Playoffs is formatted, he could an increased pick allotment.
The Sharks currently do not own their own first-round pick in 2020, only Tampa’s via the Barclay Goodrow trade. They also have two seconds, but no third- or fourth-rounder. But should the Capitals win the Stanley Cup, the conditional 2021 third-round pick Wilson received as part of the Brendan Dillon deal moves to 2020. Or should the Penguins are champs, the 2021 conditional third acquired in the Patrick Marleau trade becomes a second.
You can see why there is interest in how the 2020 draft order shakes out, which makes an option discussed on Tuesday quite interesting.
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the idea has been floated to keep the 2020 draft in June, despite the March announcement it was being postponed along with the Combine and Awards. The draft has never been held before the Cup has been awarded, but we’re in new territory. The event, like Thursday’s NFL draft and last week’s WNBA draft, will be held virtually, which also means the tradition of booing of the Commissioner will take a year off, at least.
Once the NHL determines how to resume the season, then tackling how to satisfy conditions of affected trades could be hammered out.
But wait, there’s more!
The draft is always a fun weekend featuring player trades. Holding the draft before any resumption of the season limits potential playoff teams from moving players. And if non-playoff teams want to make a player transaction, will will know the 2020-21 salary cap range?
“I think we and the clubs would need a fair amount of lead time, so I would think a decision would need to be made relatively quickly,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet.
We’ll likely still be waiting to see hockey come June, but holding the draft would generate the league some buzz. Though seeing as there would be many questions needing answers, as well as other areas affected before the completion of the season, it’s hard to imagine 31 GMs thinking this is a worthwhile idea.