NHL

NHL postpones 2020 draft, awards, scouting combine due to COVID-19

The NHL has officially postponed the 2020 Scouting Combine, the 2020 NHL Awards, and the 2020 NHL Draft due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Three major hockey events set for June have officially been postponed due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the NHL announced the postponements of the 2020 scouting combine, the awards, and the entry draft.

In order, those events were originally scheduled for June 1-6 in Buffalo, N.Y., June 18 in Las Vegas, and June 26-27 in Montreal.

In the announcement, the league stated that “the location, timing and format of the 2020 NHL Draft (and Draft Lottery) will be announced when details are finalized.” Montreal was set to host the event for the 27th time in franchise history, but it looks as if the league may host the draft elsewhere, or possibly remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The postponements do not come as a shock, considering the events are all held when the league has completed their season. This year, the league will not be completing their season before mid-June as normal thanks to coronavirus, and such the league has postponed the events until a later date.

It is a bit encouraging to see the league postpone the events instead of outright canceling them. The league is reportedly looking into a player proposal that would get the league back on its skates and playing hockey by late-July, with the Stanley Cup awarded in September. With that proposal, the league would possibly hold the awards and the draft in October in a shortened offseason and start the 2020-21 season in November.

The league is also looking into a 24-team playoff format for when the season hopefully resumes later this year. That decision is also linked to how the draft lottery will be formatted for this season, with one team proposing a tournament for the rights to the first-overall pick in the 2020 draft.

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