In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NHL has suspended the 2019-20 season. The Oilers are 37-25-9 and sit in second place in the Pacific Division through 71 games. It is unclear if the league will resume the regular season, or if they will advance directly to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The suspension of the season will be monitored on a day-to-day basis. According to sources, the league is looking at full re-evaluation in roughly two weeks time. That takes us to the end of March.
The latest the Stanley Cup has ever been awarded is June 24th. That happened in 2013 following the lockout-shortened season.
Frank Seravalli of TSN said the following on Thursday morning.
Hearing as part of the #NHL‘s due diligence process, teams have been asked to provide arena building availability through the end of July.
If that is the case, the NHL could suspend operations for a span of 2-4 weeks and resume the regular season. That would take us to the end of July and potentially into early August to complete the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Another option on the table, per Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy, is ending the 2019-20 regular season. If/when the league resumes play, it would begin with the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here is what Murphy tweeted out on Thursday morning.
Based on what I’m hearing, my guess is NHL regular season is done and games will be suspended until further notice. The goal is to play the playoffs at some point.
If that is in fact the case, the Oilers will qualify for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second seed in the Pacific Division. They would host either the Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks, depending on how the standings are decided. If it is by points-percentage, the Oilers would battle the Canucks.
Stay tuned for the latest news.