Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is the most notable NHL player to date to express doubt over the return of the 2019-20 season.
On Monday, April 13, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty became the most notable NHL player to express doubt over the potential return of the 2019-20 season since its unprecedented pause in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doughty made his sense of skepticism known to reporters in the midst of a conference call on the matter.
Per a report from Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the former Norris Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion was rather candid in his remarks, telling members of the press, “Honestly, I don’t see how the season is going to return. I really don’t.”
Doughty then expanded upon this line of thought, making the following statement:
“I think it’d be tough to do that…It would affect the next season. I know they so badly want to give out the Stanley Cup this year, but in all seriousness, it’s not going to be like winning a real Stanley Cup because the [regular] season wasn’t finished. There’s teams that couldn’t get in the playoffs. And then I’m assuming they’d have to come up with a different playoff format. So, I don’t know. It’d be a little different. I’m not a huge fan of it, as much as I want to play. I just don’t want things to go into next season and affecting those.”
The comments in question make Doughty the most well-known player to date to pooh-pooh the idea of a return to play in the not so distant future. Others, such as Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, have expressed similar sentiments — albeit with regard to the start of the sport’s playoffs. Per Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, McDavid stated.
“I think everyone would like a fair and full season,” he said. “That’s what we’d prefer. I don’t know if we can just step right back in and have playoffs. Game 1, have Calgary come to Edmonton and guys are running around trying to kill one another in the first game in two months. It’ll end up as the Stockton Heat vs. the Bakersfield Condors.”
The NHL remains weeks away from ushering forth a decision about its paused season but has since expressed its willingness to hold up the start of the 2020-21 campaign until November. Per Pierre LeBrun, the league maintains that a full season can be played if it cancels the 2021 NHL All-Star Game — as well as its bye weeks — and pushes the playoffs into the latter half of June.
For now, we continue to wait until a degree of resolution is introduced.