There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding what will happen with the remainder of the 2019-20 NHL season. Will the league be able to finish the regular season? Can they play a playoff tournament and award the Stanley Cup?
The league is keeping all of their options open at this time. That was apparent on Tuesday night’s edition of ‘Insider Trading‘ on TSN.
The league has asked teams to provide building availability for the month of August, according to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie. Here’s what McKenzie had to say on the matter.
It wasn’t on the GMs’ call per se [Tuesday]. But, earlier [Tuesday] the National Hockey League did request from each of its member 31 clubs to provide available home dates for the month of August. So as you said, James, nobody knows anything for sure. But what we can start to figure out here, is if we’re going to have a playoffs that have 2020 in front of them, there’s a real good chance it could be as late as August.
The league has serious motivation to complete the 2019-20 season. Yes, everyone wants the entertainment and the league would rather award the Stanley Cup. There is also a strong financial component to this. Without a postseason, the league stands to lose quite a bit of revenue. The numbers could be upwards of $1 billion, per TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
You can bet the NHL will do whatever it takes, no matter how hot it is, to get back on the ice. Because what’s at stake is a potential revenue loss of north of $1 billion if this 2019-20 season does not resume. And so everyone’s wondering if there could be some sort of bailout coming in the form of an insurance recovery. Well the NHL does not believe there’s going to be any meaningful insurance payout that’s on the way. And that affects both the owners and players. Because when you look at it, players are on the hook 50/50 of the revenue split. That also includes losses.
Earlier this month, NHL players reportedly proposed a revised schedule for a return from this COVID-19 pause. That proposal had them returning in early July for training camp, then finishing the 2019-20 regular season in late July. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs would then take place in August and September, while the draft and free agency taking place in October.
In this scenario, the 2020-21 season would start in November.
If the league is asking teams for August building dates, after asking for July dates earlier this month, it stands to reason that this proposal is in fact on the table and being considered.
Could the NHL pull this off? It’ll all depend on what happens outside of hockey in the coming weeks.