The NHL has announced that they are pausing the season due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. We were all hoping for games to be played without spectators. However, it’s in the best interest of the players, employees, and fans to postpone the season to keep everyone safe and healthy.
The NHL did not take this tough decision lightly. They ultimately decided to pause the season after listening to information from the CDC and after a Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for the virus. The league noted that because many NHL teams share arenas with their cities NBA teams, too, that it would be only a matter of time before someone in the NHL tests positive for the coronavirus. The Utah Jazz played in Boston on Friday, March 6th, the Bruins faced off against the Lightning the following day. The statement issued no update on a potential time to resume the season. It was also reported that teams were asked to provide arena availability through the end of July.
Where do we go from here?
Should the NHL move forward and cancel the remainder of the season, who gets the Stanley Cup?
If the league were to completely cut the rest of the season, would the points leader get the Cup? Selfishly, I’d hope so seeing as the Bruins top the league with 100 points.
There’s a possibility of the NHL season forfeiting the remainder of the regular season and picking up to start the postseason. How would they make it fair to teams on the cusp of making the playoffs? If the NHL playoffs started immediately following the suspended season, the playoff picture for the first round would look like this:
|Boston vs Carolina||St. Louis vs Vancouver|
|Tampa Bay vs Toronto||Colorado vs Dallas|
|Washington vs Columbus||Vegas vs Nashville|
|Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh||Edmonton vs Calgary|
I’m not sure how the NHL would play that out as it isn’t fair to teams vying for a playoff spot. I had seen a tweet suggesting that the NHL hold a tournament for the last few remaining playoff spots and I can get behind that as an idea. That way every team gets their legs back ready for action and teams currently sitting outside the playoff picture to continue to fight for their spot.
Read the NHL’s full statement here:
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
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